Monk Parker How The Spark Loves The Tinder on 180g LP + Download
How The Spark Loves The Tinder is the debut solo record from Monk Parker. Issued on the Bronze Rat label (London/Berlin – home to The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Gemma Ray, Solex), the 8-track set was written during the breakup of Parker’s band The Low Lows and his relocation from New York City back home to Texas. There, over the following three years, hundreds of hours of music was recorded with over 30 musicians (including members of Okkervil River and The Polyphonic Spree), largely in the welding shed of the family farm outside Austin.
Here Parker serves up a funereal but majestic alt-Americana, in which stately, dreamlike waltzes build to explosive, gospel-tinged climaxes. Revolving around a slew of steel guitars, vintage organs and brass, the intricately orchestrated songs evoke Stax/Volt balladry and a woozy Phosphorescent-style country narcosis. Alternating with a cacophony of buried noise melodies, this is the bed on which his damning, redemptive stories of carnality and affection lie (“Sadly yes I know just where to go, where to go / Sadly yes we can all three see the bright writing on the marquee,” goes the first line on the record, from a song about a love triangle gone inexplicably right).