Having been drawn into Brit-Pop legend Alan McGees’ world of 359 music it would seem appropriate to delve a little deeper into his exciting new label. Amongst the mix of differing genres at McGee’s disposal, Tess Parks’ Open Your Mind protrudes above the rest. Her originality caught McGees’ attention, believing Parks is a “true believer in the church of rock and roll.”

359 are a joint venture between Alan McGee, previously of Creation records, and Cherry Red music. McGee intends ambitious artists to use 359 as a platform into success, and Tess Parks looks set to follow the majority signed to the label into vast exposure.

Born and raised in Toronto, Parks moved to London at 17 to study photography and to progress her music career. Since then, she’s travelled back and forth playing solo gigs. On a longer stint in 2012 across the pond, she formed the Good People, consisting of bassist Thomas Huhtala, guitarist Andrew McGill, and the record’s producer and multi instrumentalist, Thomas Paxton Beesley.

Parks’ sound is an amalgamation between psychedelic rock and lo-fi grunge with downtempo beats, she writes about her inspirations on 359, citing them as Bob Dylan, Nirvana, The Beatles, and Led Zeppelin. In her self released E.P, Work All Day/ Up All Night, and her single on 359, the listener can hear these various inspirations. From the relaxed Portishead like trip-hop beats on Life Is But A Dream, to the grungy loud/quiet changes on Open Your Mind featuring on 359’s site, reminiscent of the Pixies.

The 90’s grunge sound befits the period of Alan’s impressive portfolio, making Tess Parks a suitable candidate for 359. However, her sound could also be seen as a precursor to the 90’s grunge scene, there’s a lot of Velvet Underground inspired songs on her website, with loud driving guitars and rattling tambourines.

Parks’ unnamed debut album, (set to be released in November), is sure to be as different and interesting as her previous tracks have proven to be. A mixture of the genres she pulls off would make the album a far more dynamic and enthralling experience for the listener, as her self released tracks have been. It will be interesting to see Tess Parks progress with her first album via 359, and how they will cooperate with one another. Needless to say, her unique style will make the wait for the album all the more worthwhile.

Jake Setterfield

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