Genres: Alt-rock / Acoustic / Punk
Availability: Available for shows (email). Based in London / Southampton.
Description: A mixture of a few of Albarn’s hooks, Tom Waits’ imagery, Feist’s intimacy, Gil Scott-Heron’s observation, Joe Strummer’s directness and Malkmus’ silliness, often thrown away with Evan Dando’s insouciance….
Photos (click for high-res):
Bio: Bicyclist, sometime scientist/activist and punk-in-disguise LONELY JOE PARKER began his career with indie-rock kids The Power, but after festival appearances and national airplay he put down his electric guitar and set out alone in summer 2009 to discover ‘a more interesting way to tell stories in sound’.
His bold, performance style harks back to Billy Bragg, while musically he owes more to Pavement, Broken Social Scene and The Clash. “I quickly realised that I wasn’t very good at the guitar,” he explains, “at least, not good enough to be A Guitarist. But that doesn’t mean it has to be boring, either – you can make just as good a racket with two fingers on a fretboard, you just got to know which ones!”
Listen to him for a few minutes, though, and it’s his voice that really shines. Distinctive and yet recognisable; delicate and yet powerful; artfully deployed but full of tension and danger, it captivates audiences instantly. As his growing live reputation across the UK proves, melody, harmony and performance make a potent combination and Lonely Joe Parker has already supported significant artists such as Band of Skulls, My Luminaries, Stornoway, The Moulettes, Edward J Hicks and Thomas Tantrum in his burgeoning solo career.
Having toured the UK by bicycle in September and eastern US seaboard in October / November, he returned to touring with a new split EP with Jackie Paper (Thomas Tantrum) for Sotones. Traveling between gigs exclusively by bicycle, the pair raised funds for national charities Oxfam, Jail Guitar Doors, Campaign Against Arms Trade and Ocean Youth Trust South along the way.
‘What’s Wrong With Broken Glass’, released, on vinyl and download with Sotones label-mate David Miatt a.k.a Jackie Paper, gained the pair a “Track of the Day” accolade on the Q Magazine website, an extensive interview on Fairtilizer, features on The 405 and a great review in The Fly. All proceeds from the vinyl copy of the EP went to Oxfam.
2010r’s single ‘Shanty’ is taken from the aforementioned EP and gloriously encapsulates Joe’s sincere lo-fi folk sound, with nods to greats such as Nick Drake. His ability to take you on a journey far, far away with heartfelt vocals and simple, beautiful strums will more than charm you into submission. Lonely Joe Parker is definitely set to become one of the most enchanting, underground songwriters of our generation.
This year Joe will release a series of EPs on Sotones. ‘Exile’s Sketches (Digital Remaster)‘ will document his early years through a collection of demos and rarities; ‘Ann The Arc‘ is a loud, dirty garage-rock side-project with former Thomas Tantrum rhythm section Dave Wade Brown and Jimmy Shivers; and ‘Neither Of Us Will Ever Be Evan‘ is a live collection of acoustic songs.
Last year Joe recorded his debut LP in Furnace Studios, Bulgaria / Abbey Road and Valley Studios, UK. Produced by James Ewers and mixed by Sam Miller, it is scheduled for February 2013.