Wednesday, January 20, 2021
– Parker Millsap will release "Be Here Instead," his fifth studio disc, on his own Okrahoma Records and Thirty Tigers on April 9.
Produced by the John Agnello (Kurt Vile, Sonic Youth, Waxahatchee), the release includes the new single, "The Real Thing," which features guest vocals from Nashville singer Erin Rae. Millsap also released a video for the song.
"It's a song whose meaning has revealed new layers to me over time," Millsap said. "At first, it was about being on the road and missing my wife, then it was about my general distaste for internet communication, and then the pandemic hit, and it became about having to depend on that type of communication and being starved for physical closeness. The thesis of the song is: Facetime ain't shit."
"For the video, without any prior input from me, Jacq Justice came up with a concept that perfectly framed these new themes the song was revealing to me," Millsap said. "What is the 'real' connection? How do we find it and foster it these days? Is technology allowing us to stay in touch when we couldn't otherwise, but hindering the quality of communication? Are we trapped in our own reflection?"
Millsap's first new album in close to three years, the Oklahoma-bred, Nashville-based artist stretches out musically from his folk/Americana bent to
Previously given to character-driven storytelling, Millsap indicated he is more introspective. "Because the lyrics were appearing seemingly out of nowhere and with no prior intent, some of them started to feel like transmissions from my subconscious, rather than the preconceived linear stories or waking thoughts of my earlier songs," said Millsap. "They feel like words I needed to hear from myself and not just things I wanted to say to someone else.
"My wife's grandfather was an artist who did watercolor paintings," Millsap sasid, "and a few years ago, I decided I wanted to try it. I very quickly found out that watercolors are really hard to work with – you have to embrace your mistakes, and then let them guide you along."
"It's made me think about how when you mess up, you're basically revealing your humanity, which is what music's all about. When I listen to records, I love when Ray Charles's voice cracks or when you hear the squeaking of the kick-drum pedal on a Led Zeppelin song. Anything that shows the living, breathing quality of the whole thing, that's always wonderful. That's what we're here for. So don't be afraid to let it happen."
Growing up in the small town of Purcell, Okla. inspired by Texas singer-songwriters like Townes Van Zandt, Millsap started writing songs on acoustic guitar in his early teens before making his official debut at the age of 19 with 2012's "Palisade." His self-titled sophomore effort arrived in 2014, followed in 2016 by "The Very Last Day" and 2018's "Other Arrangements," a more rocking album.
The track list is:
The Real Thing
It Was You
In Your Eyes