Already an accomplished multi-instrumentalist in the Grammy-winning act Arcade Fire, Richard Reed Parry is channeling different inspirations on his upcoming album Quiet River of Dust Vol. 1.The record is a dreamlike journey of immersive, gently psychedelic songs inspired by Japanese death poems and the folk music of the British Isles.
Immersed in the forests of Northern Virginia, watch the lyric video for the new track “Song of Wood” HERE which The Fader described as “a lush and verdant composition filled with buzzing cicadas, plucky guitar, and his airy voice flowing like a breeze through the treetops. Folksy and alive, the single fits squarely in line with Vol. 1's inspiration: the forests in Japan.”
“‘Song of Wood’ started in Montreal on my porch in the rain, with a little loop from an iPhone 4 synthesizer app that doesn’t seem to exist anymore,” Parry explained of the songs origins. “I started writing something that I thought was going to be a folk-style ‘riddle’ song - ‘gave my love a cherry that had no stone...gave my love a chicken that had no bone...’ but it turned into something else. I finished it in upstate New York when my friend [Pulitzer Prize Winner and Kayne West collaborator] Caroline Shaw sang a bunch of very magical layers of vocals. There’s a quiet moment close to the end that I really like, when you can hear a lot of cicadas that I recorded in a forest in Kyoto, Japan, with Andrew Barr [the Barr Brothers] gently playing pieces of driftwood.”
Quiet River of Dust Vol. 1 will be released via ANTI- Records on the autumnal equinox, September 21. The first album in a two-part series, Quiet River of Dust Vol. 2 will be released on the 2019 spring equinox.
Long before Arcade Fire started performing in 2003, Parry grew up in a thriving folk music community in Toronto where house parties were full of singing and weekly gatherings featured dances of the British Isles. That influence affected the genesis of these songs, which began after Arcade Fire’s first tour of Japan in February 2008. Parry stayed on for weeks after the last show, heading to a monastery for some solace in what he described as “the biggest silence you’ve ever heard.” Quiet River of Dust has been slowly gestating ever since, in many ways a necessary respite from Parry’s other musical pursuits as creating this music grew into a meditative practice.
“I’m lousy at sitting still and being nothing,” Parry says. “But being out in the natural world or being immersed in music is the meditation for me. That’s the heart of this record: the experience of transcending the place that you’re in, getting lost in the feeling of where you end and where the world begins, in a dreamlike world of music and thought.”
Parry has also released another new song “I Was Calling” via PEOPLE, the new collective launched by Bon Iver and members of The National. Listen to it HERE. For a musician raised in a musical family and environment, collaboration and community are essential parts of Parry’s musical process.
“I love that PEOPLE has created an environment for music creation and listening that exists outside of the typical channels that we are all used to using, and I’m so happy to be part of this vast and complex community that explores new ways of doing things. “I Was Calling” is a song that was originally intended for my Quiet River of Dust albums, but somehow it didn’t ultimately get along with the other songs as much as I thought it would. I really love Adam Kinner’s saxophone part on this song.”