A band full of seasoned musical interpreters who push themselves—and each other—into parts unknown, Vancouver-based Parkland never plays a song the same way twice. Truly engaging alt-country songwriting and improvisational sonic abstraction.
PARKLAND - Affiliates: 2
The second in a series of digital releases from Parkland finds the ever-shifting ensemble reinterpreting songs from vinyl releases Singularity (2015) and Monument (2016), as well as tackling the previously unreleased track Black Night.
Starting from the bare essentials of lyrics and a chord structure, the ensemble re-approaches the pieces, using the spirit of the moment to dictate dynamics, tempo, melodic ideas, and mood. Rob Malowany’s heart-laid-bare songwriting gets taken down wildly divergent paths with each performance, and the Affliates series showcases a small selection of the group’s many live reinterpretations.
Affiliates: 2 was recorded live off the floor at Vancouver artist-run space Merge, as part of the filming of documentary project Bleeding Daylight, to be released in Spring 2018.
A rare melding of alt-country and sonic abstraction, Parkland continues to explore an ever-expanding musical territory.
VANCOUVER SUN REVIEW OF PARKLAND: Affiliates: 1 (Offseason Records):
The second album from Vancouver-based Rob Malowany (Devilsplender) is a far more realized and captivating session than his altogether enjoyable debut Singularity (2015). The live recording captures Malowany and the ever-changing cast of Parkland Affiliates — drummer Stephen Lyons and bassist Shanto Acharia (Fond of Tigers), guitarists Robin Hunter (The Imagineers, Old Reliable) and Paul Rigby (Neko Case, Art Bergmann) for this performance — in fine form on six extended tracks that would make any Calexico or Giant Sand fan break into a full grin. Credit the guitar interplay between Rigby and Hunter’s slinky lap steel with much of the wide-open atmospherics of tunes such as Lost My Heart and Depression Sets In. And the often improvised nature of the songs gives all the members ample chance to take the material in different directions. This is only the first planned recording in a series of digital releases intended to capture the various Affiliate lineups in the “Parklandscape.” Keep tabs on live shows/sessions at parklandmusicproject.com and offseasonrecords.com.
VANCOUVER SUN REVIEW OF PARKLAND'S "MONUMENT"
The second full length release from Rob Malowany’s wonderful atmospheric avant-country collective is a tour de force for pedal steel guitarist Paul Rigby. His high lonesome twangs and textures to Sashay Shimmer are perfect compliments to Malowany’s plaintive vocals and the rest of the group’s rolling gait rhythms.
If the debut Singularity was a winner, this is a big step up as the mix (by Malowany who also produced) showcases the material better as a whole and there is some achingly beautiful confessional writing. The showpiece is the honesty in Depression Sets In, where a slow jam just sinks lower and lower to reflect the “bringing me down” lyric chanted like a mantra. Bummer, yes. But in the best possible way.
Fans of groups such as Giant Sand or any twang-tinged jam band should certainly check this out live. Much of the soundscape is improvised and that means it never happens the same way twice.