Rock’s most electrified energy
The National Parks, a folk-pop band from Utah, showcases a lightning album filled with layers of grunge rock, bubbly pop and folk guitar riffs. The band name matches the album artwork well, for the cover illustrates a desert park with a dusky sunset and bright green cactus. The four-member band consists of Brady Parks (guitar, lead vocals, and songwriter), Sydney Macfarlane (keyboards and vocals), Cam Brannelly (drums) and Megan Taylor Parks (fiddle and vocals).
Wildflower is the band’s third studio album, following Young, the first album that made the top 20 hot hits on iTunes, leading them to sell out venues in metropolitan areas in the United States.
The National Parks began as the Brady Parks, a band created by Brady Parks, the front-man, who went on to compete in various Battle of the Bands competitions, resulting in the formation of an album, The Mossy Mountain. The style of the band began as narrative folk songs that heavily focused on acoustic guitar sounds. Now, the band has evolved into a melodious blend of happy electronic and hard orchestral rock noises.
“Wildflower,” the album title track, is the quintessential National Parks sound. The crunching guitar and the electric energy balances the positive, empowering lyrics Parks sings. This song contemplates how beautiful and innocent plants grow in the strangest and roughest of places. Like these wildflowers, people need to remain upbeat and know that out of dark times arises opportunity. Not only is this pop song supportive, but it also stands as a romantic vow to a lover, a friend, a family member. Parks promises to be the wildflower that blooms for others in their gloomiest hours, as he sings “I could be your wildflower… I know I know I must be planted for a reason.”
“Time” is a unique, mellow track with a shaker and snare electronic beat and acoustic guitar picking. “I could almost see it. Did you fade right out of view?” Similar to the last track, this song is about remaining faithful to our dreams that appear out of reach. If there is patience, Parks promises he is able to get to this muse no matter what.
“Waiting for Lightning” begins with an ominous howl that puts the audience into a dazed state. Out of all the many imageries in this song, one of the most poetic lines written by Parks is: “My heart’s a key tied to a string up on a kite what will it bring. I’m waiting for lightning to strike.” Although very progressive and pop centered, this track is the most folk-country piece with acoustic guitar picking, sandy shaker and echoing piano chords. But those harmonious wails signify the beauty in all of Parks’ promises to this muse, when he again sings, “I can be the one to hold on. I just need to know for how long.”
The National Parks have perfectly melded pop into folk with catchy melodies, strong grunge chords and poetic lyrics in Wildflower.