Music Releases 09-09-22
Revealer is full of confessions, intimations, and hard truths. It's a warts-and-all self-portrait of a young artist who is full of doubt and uncertainty, yet bursting with exciting ideas about music and life; who has numerous GRAMMY nominations but still feels like she has far to go; who turns those misgivings into songs that are confident in their idiosyncrasies. It's a rumination on music as a vehicle for revelations, what's gained and what's lost when you put words to your innermost feelings.
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In the kitchen of the Byron Bay home of Winston McCall stands a refrigerator, adorned on one side by a quote from Tom Waits: “I want beautiful melodies telling me terrible things.”
This, the PARKWAY DRIVE vocalist says, is a pretty good summation of him-self. It holds true, too, as one of the guiding principles behind Darker Still, the seventh full-length album to be born of this picturesque and serene corner of north-eastern NSW, Australia, and the defining musical statement to date from one of modern metal’s most revered bands.
Darker Still, McCall says, is the vision he and his bandmates – guitarists Jeff Ling and Luke Kilpatrick, bassist Jia O’Connor and drummer Ben Gordon – have held in their mind’s eye since a misfit group of friends first convened in their parents’ basements and backyards in 2003. The journey to reach this moment has seen Parkway evolve from metal underdogs to festival-headlining behemoth, off the back of close to 20 gruelling years, six critically and commercially acclaimed studio albums (all of which achieving Gold status in their home nation), three documentaries, one live album, and many, many thousands of shows.
While Darker Still remains irrefutably PARKWAY DRIVE, it finds the band sonically standing shoulder to shoulder with rock and metal’s greats – Metallica, Pantera, Machine Head, Guns N’ Roses – as much as it does their metalcore contemporaries. “I wanted a classic guitar tone for this record,” explains Ling, who credits much of his inspiration to the connection his riffs have with a crowd in a live setting.
Emerging from the darkness of the past few years, this is the true face of PARKWAY DRIVE: redefined and resolute, focused in mind and defiant in spirit.
Charley Crockett will release his latest album The Man From Waco on September 9th via Son of Davy/Thirty Tigers. Crockett wrote or co-wrote all 14 songs on the album, and in many ways The Man From Waco is the purest distillation of his artistry to date. What started as a demo session with producer Bruce Robison at Robison’s studio The Bunker outside Austin, TX turned into the first album Crockett has ever made with his band The Blue Drifters backing him from start to finish. Mostly first takes with only a handful of overdubs, The Man From Waco finds Crockett refining his singular “Gulf & Western” sound which continues to captivate an ever-growing legion of fans.
“I just wanted an honest partnership: do it at your place, live to tape, everybody in the room,” Crockett says of the recording experience, and Robison was happy to accommodate. “The magic is in the performances on that tape. That’s what Bruce wanted to do, that’s what I wanted to do. When we were done, I said ‘these are masters, not demos.’”
There’s a loose narrative thread that ties the album together, but at the center of The Man From Waco is Crockett, who continues to trust his instincts and carve out his own singular space. Eschewing the ever-growing siren song of major labels and GRAMMY-winning producers, Crockett is forging ahead as a mostly DIY artist, calling his own shots and giving himself the space to strive for greatness on his own terms.
“Everybody was telling me: ‘go right, go right, go right,’” says Crockett. “I went left. I had to hold on to what has gotten me this far.”
The Man From Waco will be in a record store near you on September 9th on CD, Vinyl, and an indie record store exclusive edition featuring alternate album artwork.