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Wednesday 5 April 2023

Hi, how are you Bryon Parker?!!

Having recently reviewed the fantastic Bryon Parker 2-track EP teaser, I had to gain further insight into the Denver-based artist who reminded me of the great Daniel Johnston; Bryon said this of his recent VanGerrett Records release...
These two songs were written in the same day. They are siblings. Their production, while experimental at times, pushes the boundaries I deem acceptable of stark immediacy."  
Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions Bryon!


When you take aim with your peashooter/pellet gun/sniper rifle, you're aiming at who?

The squatter squirrel who chewed the wiring inside my wife’s car; he cost us some money!


Where do you go when it all gets too much?

My basement. It’s filled with records, movies and books.


Is bedtime more half nine with a half read paper or more half four with fully red eyes?

Half ten with a half watched show on a laptop.


What do you do with any ‘you' time?

Steve McQueen movies never get old.


Who would be your dream collaborator?

If I could collaborate with Warren Ellis, I could die a fulfilled man.


What's the last concert you went to?

Pavement’s 2023 reunion show.


What's the best / your favourite music video?

It’s Raining On One of My Islands by Ventura (feat. David Yow).


If you were a musical instrument what would you be?

A Sunburst H912 12 string 1966 Harmony Stella. I own this guitar… we look alike!

What's ‘love at first sight' all about then?

I had that. I married her. It’s wonderful. The end.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

My subconscious is usually to blame. I’m in tune with being lyrically free-form initially. I analyse my own music, but only after it’s created. I love reviews because it helps me better understand what other people get out of it.

Care to share any regrets, missed opportunities or things that might've been?

I rarely look backwards. I live without much regret. There’s a handful of musicians that I wish I could’ve seen before they exited.

Were/are you aware of your escalating popularity?

This is a falsehood. I haven’t any escalating popularity; I’m happily obscure.

Will your past come back to haunt you or will karma be kind?

Karma all the way!

Where do you most enjoy playing live?

Places where they don’t get enough musicians: book-stores, art galleries and back yards.

Why? What's your biggest why question that mystifies you most?

Are all of our old pets waiting for us on the astral plane?


What influences your sound above all else?

An inability to read music and an outsiders approach to technique.

Where do you sit in the grand scheme of things?

I’m right on the edge. I don’t know what comes next” -SZ

Why the name (not your christened name of course)?

Bryon Louis Parker is my given name. It confuses all radio DJ’s; they say “Byron”… I’ve learned to be fine with it.

Any choice epitaphs or famous last words for which you'd like to be quoted?

I died a fulfilled man. I collaborated with Warren Ellis.”

What makes you better than everyone else?

My ability to identify that I’m not better than anyone else.

When do you plan to take over the world?

Soon after this conversation is published!

What changes can we expect with your latest outing?

My posture is better. And I’m standing up when I perform now. You see, I used to hunch. Let the record show that.

Are you in control of the formats for your releases?

The cassette tapes I made went over well. I sold 12. My 7-inch lathes are probably least agreeable due to their deliberate mono format and low fidelity sound… Whatever; I think they’re home-made cool.

Wish you were doing anything else with your time other than music?

I wish I could be an actor. I’d share a scene on the silver screen with Ben Mendelsohn!

What music are you listening to of late?

'Norm' by Andy Shauf. It’s a perfect pop album for the spring.

Any message for underachieving or odds-facing musicians out there?

Let’s collaborate!

Any career highs or lows you care to share?

Jad Fair (Half Japanese) recorded a cover of one of my songs once. I still haven’t gotten over this high.

Do you enjoy playing live or are you more at home in a studio?

I’m more of an at my friends home in his studio kinda guy.

Your career defining dream moment would/will be what?

Getting music aligned with film. To be immortalized in the end credits.

How important do you feel visuals are in relation to music?

They can make or break it for me.

What's been the highlight of your year?

Getting a second dog is adding a lot of quality.

I'm sure you've done a few but which gig has been your best?

I once played in a two-piece band; it was a short lived thing. We were called Simulators. We shared a bill in Chicago with Sewingneedle and Andy Cohen + Light Cohen… Tim Midyett was in the audience that night. That was a good one.

Any forthcoming plans for you / the band?

Continue to release sporadic singles and live my life.

Is there more pressure playing live with a band than there is playing solo?

I find playing with a band is more pressure.

Best song, movie or album ever?

SONG: The Family Gardener by the Minus 5. MOVIE: Beauty is Embarrassing. ALBUM: Yankee Hotel Foxtrot by Wilco.

Where did you sleep last night?

In the Pines.

What's your secret vice; what are you a sucker for?

Acoustic-electric guitars through my Guild Aspen amp.

What makes the world go round? 

A Guinea pig named “Pickle” in my home office.

Which instrument does it for you

My IsotonaG. It’s an all aluminium 25.1 inch scale guitar. Sonically, this instrument is such an amazing guitar equalled only by its exceptional design. The IsotonaG was designed by one of the greats (Agostino Tilotta). See also- Uzeda, Bellini.

When will the world end?


Who's the main driving force or do you work as a team?

I’m a solo guy with friends who play on his recordings. I’m the driving force.

What revival would you most like to witness?

Elephant 6.

If you could protect and save 1 thing in the world, what would it be?


Whose autograph do you have and why?

I have signed autographs from the members of Wilco, David Dondero, David Yow, Flipper and Howe Gelb. I’ve met and seen these folks in concert and was lucky enough to have conversations that led to signed artefacts. These things live in my record room as trophies.

Which fictional character would you most like to be and why?

Vincent Spano’s portrayal of Steve in 1983’s Rumblefish. When I first watched this film, I immediately identified with this character. I felt like Steve was an impression of me. Studious. Kind of boring amongst the main characters. He has to be pushed into things before he’s identified as fun. He has my hair style, glasses and wardrobe. It’s kind of eerie.

Which musical style should become extinct first?

Rock and Roll. It’s just not as interesting or shocking as it once was.

The Bryon Parker EP is released on VanGerret Records April 1st 2023.

Friday 31 March 2023

BRYON MIGHTY: A brilliant Bryon Parker EP

Straying from the same imaginary farm of acoustic songwriting studs such as Damien Rice, David Gray, Jeffrey Lewis and Kings of Convenience, Bryon Parker’s unpredictable 2-track EP intrigues and enthrals from the outset. We’re quickly driven to daydreams of an LP and of the magic and menace with which it would surely mesmerise; because of its restraint, Bryon Parker‘s understated brilliance is nothing short of wondrous.

Razor‘s Edge’ gets this release right up in your face and pleasingly, we’re drawn into a tale of war-torn and time-worn togetherness as textural, lyric-born imagery leads us to contemplate the twisted fate of our two protagonists. Amidst the off-kilter production, the simplistic fragility of a straight-laced, vaguely sentimental vocal is every bit as secure as it is askew.  

You‘d be forgiven for thinking the track is taken from the TV advert of any given building society or similar do-good enterprise, but as the title suggests, I suspect the ambiguous serenity conceals monsters aplenty. Perhaps owing to it’s lo-fi dynamism, it‘s also startling to learn of the track‘s six minute duration.

Unsuspectingly drawing us into a chaotic, short-lived crescendo and hinting at an overabundance of personal imperfection or selfish, snowblind shenanigans, patiently paced Fever Dream Death Kiss’ paints a placid, pretty picture that’s awash with rhythmic repetition. We’re sharply shaken from the our trance state however, as the track ends in a fiery haze of indifference and blind optimism

This softly spoken statement serves up a shedload of skewered and strange loose ends, with each screaming out to be tied up, amidst the joyful misdirection and muted misery that solidifies the essence of Bryon Parker’s marvellous music. 

The Bryon Parker EP is released on VanGerret Records April 1st 2023.

Thursday 26 January 2023

UNSHORE: Kramies & the haunted ghost











I’ve tried to review this collection of 8 truly heartbreaking ditties since it’s September 2022 release and it’s only now that I’m able to listen to it objectively, without sobbing throughout. I awoke to lyrics circling my head, randomly burst into tears, or slumped to the floor under it’s sumptuous weight far too often, until I implemented self-induced fortnight-long listening bans.

As with most of this tragedy-laden LP, Days of’ pulls us into bittersweet sonic doldrums that threaten to overwhelm but instead seduce. With sad, searing lyrics yanking sharply at the heartstrings, soft or soaring vocals understating solemnity, and accessible production that does little to disguise any of the above, we’re given an exemplary intro to a half hour of hardened love songs.

Delivering a bittersweet combo of acceptance and angst that surely resonates with the broken-hearted, the bewildered and the bent out of shape, Horses to Maine’ laughs in the face of the horrible facts. Pinned to a brass-rich Reindeer Section-like backdrop, this heart-wrenching tale of abandonment and betrayal is peppered with realisim and sweet resentment in equal parts.

It’s perhaps a blessing that this short track is over before it develops into the behemoth it perhaps should've been; like an aborted David Lynch/Munchausen by Proxy love-child, ‘Hotel in LA’ is heavy from the outset. With vocals barely treading the relentless waves of despair supporting them, this is the only mild reprieve we get, amidst this tale of good old degeneration and dependency.

Banjo boosted and increasingly majestic ‘Ohio I’ll be fine’ bravely addresses helplessness and surrender; like taking a hit from a cherubs sawn-off, its lyrical simplicity hits hard and fast, before dispersing just as abruptly. The consequences are left unquantified and the situation left to linger in the minds of anyone who’s both suffered and rejoiced in self-interest sacrifice.

Darkness becomes enchantment and whimsy during You’d be the fall’, as it nourishes our hope-starved psyche, permeating the parameters of blind and boundless love with the gentlest of touches. Delving into unbalanced dedication and the unrequited devotion of beleaguered lovebirds, it spells out the lengths we’d go to for our nearest and dearest.

Despite it putting the boot in from the outset, softly served duet Flower from the orphan’ is a personal favourite. Abandoning almost all metaphor and leaving little to the imagination, there’s no hiding from the genius of its lyrical fragility, as we hear about the exhausted harmony that’s been taken for granted more than once too often… I was the ocean, you were the shore”.

Similarly, Owl and the crow’ investigates deception, damage and the divide that can destroy disingenuous relationships. As with the magic that’s evidently been undermined by ongoing neglect and negativity, long-lost commonality is sorely missed and laid out bare for all to see. Yearning and hopeful, grasping for paradise lost, it leaves us so sore and oh so lost at sea.

4:44am’ delivers the album’s sucker punch, breaking every bone in your by now aching heart. With its impassioned honesty and forced lyrical optimism, it gently scratches through confusion for remnants of cause and effect, ultimately in the hope of instilling much-needed motivation to get through tomorrow and beyond. Rock bottom bravado never sounded so good.

There’s been a lot of “best album of 2022” talk recently and I’ve known for some time that the LP means so so much more to me, easily making it into my all-time top 5. Like a shadow on my lung, Kramies has left behind a life-long imprint; striking me as a mini epic ‘how’s Ant 2022?’ concept album, it’s left me feeling like a haunted ghost.  

Check in on the incredible Kramies and his original scar music...


My 2021 interview