Canadian singer-songwriter Tess Parks has shared the latest single from her upcoming album And Those Who Were Seen Dancing, the highly-charged ‘Do You Pray’.
Combining fuzzy guitar lines and propulsive piano tracks with Parks’ slinky vocal delivery, ‘Do You Pray’ channels everything from big beat to punk rock to even old-school gospel music. With layers of distortion surrounding the energetic arrangement, ‘Do You Pray’ is a straight shot of adrenaline that could appeal to just about any kind of music fan.
“My friend Annie just asked me one day out of the blue, ‘Do you pray?’, and I thought, ‘Wow, yes I love that and yes I do, every day,’” Parks explains of the new track. “The song is a mix of two traditionals: ‘My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean’ and ‘When the Saints Go Marching In’. This is one of a few songs on the album where my dad can be heard playing my grand-fathers old piano.”
Following her collaborations with Anton Newcombe in the late 2010s, Parks has returned to her solo music with two previous singles, ‘Happy Birthday Forever’ and the pun-heavy title ‘Brexit at Tiffany’s’. All three of her latest singles have a strange dancefloor energy and acid-soaked feel to them that seems to recall Primal Scream of the Happy Mondays, freely mixing in dance beats with psychedelic sounds. It should be no surprise that Parks got some of her biggest influences from the eclecticism of the English music scene.
“In my mind, this album is like hopscotch,” Parks says of And Those Who Were Seen Dancing. “These songs were pieced together over time in London, Toronto and Los Angeles with friends and family between August 2019 and March 2021. So many other versions of these songs exist. The recording and final completion of this album took over two years and wow – the lesson I have learned the most is that words are spells. If I didn’t know it before, I know it now for sure. I only want to put good out into the universe.”
And Those Who Were Seen Dancing will be Parks’ second solo offering and her first in nearly a decade after her debut Blood Hot was released back in 2013. Personal injury, collaborations, and discontent with her own music had put her off from finishing her follow-up for years, forming a sort of albatross around her neck.
“I really felt discouraged to complete this album,” she recalls. “I stopped listening to music for honestly about a year altogether and turned to painting instead. I really had to convince myself again that it’s important to just share whatever good we can – having faith in ourselves to know that our lights can shine on and on through other people and for other people. The thought of anyone not sharing their art or being shy of anything they create seems like a real tragedy to me. Even if it’s not perfect, you’re capturing a moment.”
Check out the video for ‘Do You Pray’ down below. And Those Who Were Seen Dancing is set for a May 20th release.
And Those Who Were Seen Dancing tracklisting:
2. ‘Suzy & Sally’s Eternal Return’
3. ‘Happy Birthday Forever’
4. ‘We Are The Music Makers And We Are The Dreamers Of Dream’
5. ‘Brexit at Tiffany’s’
6. ‘Old Life’
7. ‘Do You Pray?’
8. ‘Good Morning Glory’
9. ‘I See Angels’
10. ‘Saint Michael’