Parker Smith


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Like the local dive bar’s perennial drunkard, Parker Smith’s music has that rare ability to thrive while at its scrappiest. All aching pedal steel and cigarette-soaked pleas, Smith seems to put his own spiritual turmoil in a chokehold, elevating it until he squeezes out the elegant songs that make for his forthcoming sophomore LP, Underground. Unlike most of his peers in the Americana community, Smith manages to defy being pigeonholed by inflecting his music with touches of blue-eyed soul (“Fray”), Asbury Park-indebted blues-rock (“Holy Water”), and even Gordon Lightfoot (“Arrowroot”). Ultimately, Underground is the sound of living and of life, of the ways we grapple with our pasts, and of the ways we forge through the murkiest depths of the current. All told, Underground stands as a breathtaking work of Americana and the American spirit in 2020, perennially sinking, but always moving forward.