Rising Stars [Issue
Dreaming and Beyond By
Driving down Sunset Boulevard last week, I saw an image I thought I would never
see. I passed the iconic Tower Records with a marquee that simply read, Its
the end of the world as we know it. My entire life, I never believed that
such an establishment would ever permanently close its doors. While the R.E.M.
quote couldnt be more accurate for anyone loosely associated with the chain
retailer, perhaps a more appropriate lyrical farewell would have been, The
times, they are a-changin.
Some may question what the above anecdote has to do with Katrina Parker, a wonderfully
talented new singer-songwriter who came to the attention of ONE WAYs staff
in the past few months, but there exists a parallel. As an unsigned artist, Parker
has released one EP, Only Dreaming, and is in the process of recording a follow-up.
Not only has a major music retailer fallen, but the entire business model in every
aspect of recording, promoting, and selling music has changed more than ever before
in music history. Parker notes, Im not actively seeking a label deal.
If the opportunity came along, it would be wonderful, but I think for so long
Ive kind of been in the indie mindset that its not somethings
thats been a priority for me. The atmosphere of the music industry right
now, with the Internet, and all of the avenues open to indie artists, its
not like you have to have a label right now to make music.
And, making music is something that Katrina Parker does exceptionally well. Her
material has garnered much attention through channels that would have been inconceivable,
namely websites such as sonicbids.com (where ONE WAY initially discovered her)
and the ubiquitous myspace.com. What makes an artist such as Parker to capture
the publications attention might seem obvious, but its a simple formula
(that is much harder than it seems to achieve): her music, voice, songwriting,
and production are stunning. Her debut CD stands alongside impressive major label
debuts on all counts and there is no reason her next effort will not exceed her
The woman who grew up in Asheville, NC and later migrated to Nashville before
relocating to LA speaks excitedly about her next recording project. She speculates,
I think its going to be different artistically. We [Parker and her
production team] still have the same intimacy of the vocals, etc. to start off.
But, the songs are different. Listening to it, what weve done so far is
a little more gothic. Its still pretty romantic. Were trying to make
it a mix of vintage sounds and electronic sounds. I love the electronic sounds
weve that been playing around with. The piano is going to be less of a focal
point, although its still going to be an important part of it. The songs
arent going to be quite as quiet. Not everythings going to be a slow
The songs from Only Dreaming are otherworldly expressions of heartache and redemption.
When You Leave While her EP contains somewhat minimalist piano-based
productions that beautifully frame her haunting alto, early demos of the reworked
version of her song, Killing Me, indicates that her future compositions
live up to her appraisal. Once completing the session, she enthuses, Im
working with someone from Tinder Box Music, who are in Minneapolis. They have
been doing a college radio campaign. Its amazing what opportunities are
out there for indie artists. There are people that do distribution for you, there
are people that do radio promotion for you. Its not going to be the same
as having a label behind you, but there are so many little ways you can do some
of the same promotional items that they do on a smaller scale. Its an exciting
time to be an indie artist.
Only Dreaming is
available at katrinaparker.com, cdbaby.com/cd/katrinaparker, and iTunes.