LISTEN: Get Cheery with Monk Parker’s Debut Single “Sadly Yes”

Monk Parker premieres the lead single from his solo debut, How the Spark Loves the Tinder.

It’s a fine country music tradition, returning home to Texas following disappointment elsewhere. It’s how Willie Nelson went from being a Music Row songwriter penning hits for Faron Young and Patsy Cline to the king of the outlaw country movement. And it’s how Monk Parker, late of New York’s The Low Lows, found himself making a massive, magisterial record in the welding shed of his family’s farm outside of Austin.

“Sadly Yes” is the album’s opener, and as it unfolds, it showcases just about everything that Parker and the thirty-some musicians who join him on How the Spark Loves the Tinder do well. It starts with a few forced strums, a hum of cello, and Parker’s voice coming in like a long-distance call. “Sadly yes, I know just where to go,” he sings. Then things open up into a grand lament, with theremin whining and horns blasting in doe-eyed sadness.

The phrasing of Parker’s lyrics—and the way he sings, like he’s working his way through a necessary but unwanted breakup—are reminiscent of Matthew Houck’s Phosphorescent at its most narcotic; think Wolves backed by a Western version of Matthew E. White’s big band. You can hear it for yourself below.

How the Spark Loves the Tinder is out August 28 on Bronze Rat.

How the Spark Loves the Tinder track list

“Sadly Yes”Monk_Parker-2015-How_The_Tinder_Loves_The_Spark-cover

“I Am a Gun”

“The Happy Hours”

“Wanna Be Forgotten”

“Idle in Idlewild”

“Black Bees”

“Raining in Eva”

“The Great Fires”

Monk Parker tour dates

June
26 – Athens, GA – Flicker Bar
27 – Atlanta, GA – Drunken Unicorn
29 – Chapel Hill, NC – Local 506

July
1 – New York, NY – Union Hall
2 – Philadelphia, PA – Kung Fu Necktie
5 – Boston, MA – Church of Boston
8 – Detroit, MI – Lager House
9 – Chicago, IL – Empty Bottle
12 – Iowa City, IA – The Mill

August
14 – Austin, TX – Cheer Up Charlie’s
27 – Phoenix, AZ – Valley Bar

September
4 – Spokane, WA – The Bartlett
5 – Portland, OR – Bunk Bar

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