If you’re anything like me and are a bit of a sucker for some folky melancholy, then Parent are probably right up your street. This is the self titled debut offering from the Manchester duo of Jason Brown (guitar) and Rachel Kern (voice), ably assisted on bespoke string arrangements by Sarah Brandwood-Spencer, and it features a selection of beautifully crafted songs.
‘Dear Lucia’ opens proceedings with an energetic acoustic intro that soon gives way to sedate orchestrated folk. It’s pleasantly atmospheric and Rachel’s chocolate smooth voice is very easy on the ear. ‘Weren’t That Bad’ and ‘You’re Not Broken’ follow in quick succession, continuing the relaxed vibe; it’s all very soothingly melancholic and both tracks benefit from the orchestrated elements that give their sound another dimension.
‘Tipperary’ and ‘Oh Lover’ are comparatively ordinary, but hint at their versatility. ‘Trying’, meanwhile, stands out for its emotional climax as Rachel pushes her vocal range, while delicate touches of piano compliment the swirling orchestration; good track.
Things take a sunnier turn on ‘This Place’, with its slight country feel to the guitar, while piano driven ‘Maneater’ has a jazzy bossa nova vibe that shuffles along nicely. In fact, there’s a surprisingly varied mix on offer, whether it’s the soulful ‘Disadvantage’, the acoustic jazz and meandering violins of ‘Hold on Till Tomorrow’ or the melancholy lament of ‘Until Then’. There’s even a somewhat surprising cover version of ‘You Are My Sunshine’, though it’s a totally non-sunshine dirge like version packed with emotion.
Although the lack of percussion gives the record a slightly empty feel, there is plenty to like about these well crafted songs and a lot of potential in their emotionally charged work. Obviously, Parent‘s appeal is more likely to be among those who like their listening on the easy side, but we all need to chill sometimes so why not check it out.
‘Parent’ is available to buy right here: