Parabola West – Stars Will Light the Way

Parabola West as The Dreaming Dryad – photo by Trinityavar

Recently we became intrigued and more over the new album from PARABOLA WEST courtesy of its latest single, Hannah. It was a bewitchment of atmosphere and sound confirming the suggestion of earlier tracks from the full-length that Stars Will Light the Way might be one highly imaginative and potent proposition. Now in our eager mitts, the past hours and days has seen our isolated attention upon the release one irrefutable answer.

PARABOLA WEST is the artist persona and folktronic project of New Zealand-based American singer/ songwriter Amy Tucker West. 2014 saw the release of debut EP, Did You Hear? with the equally well-received Purity of Weakness EP following three years later. A hindsight listen revealed that both were ear and imagination sparking offerings laying the seeds to the glorious adventure of Stars Will Light the Way.

Five years in the making, created and released solely by West with a few guests adding their prowess, the album revels in the atmospheric, cinematic and eclectic prowess of West’s music and songwriting. Folk, synth pop, indie and an atmospheric weaving are all embraced in its rich landscape of surprise and temptation, it all headed by her vocal captivation. We all come across a voice which just enslaves personal instincts and West certainly has ours. Like a storyteller come siren she brings emotive life and substance to songs with Shaman like authority, tracks which each present individual characters to explore with the likes of Frozen Heart, Haunted Hannah, Moon Witch, Sky Painter, Melancholy Mermaid, Dreaming Dryad, Winged Warrior, Memory Mirror, Steampunk Sorceress, Flower Girls, and Nephilim’s Daughter also given visual life within the book accompanying the album’s Deluxe CD version.

Musically, each track is an evocative and poetic experience of intimation and atmospheric contemplation, the release from opening instrumental First Snow courting the imagination with melodic beauty and mood setting ambiences.

The suggestive mystery and confirmed drama of the opener is in turn embraced and layered across the synth pop contagion of the following Calling Your Name. It is a serenade of seduction and rumination set in a landscape of electro pop liveliness aligned to emotive vocal spirit within which the senses felt like they are floating upon the waters of enchantment. 

There is also a powerful nostalgic edge to many tracks such as next up Hannah, a medieval hue within an ethereal realm bringing its own atmospheric manipulation of the imagination under the lyrical and vocal guide of West and her embrace of the medieval hurdy-gurdy and the Swedish folk instrument Nyckelharpa with its haunting resonance brought by Adam Casey.

Haunting best describes New Moon too, a track with a noir lit hue to its breath and melancholic beauty to its melodic reflection further infused in emotion and atmosphere by the guest violin of Rachel Moxham while No One Can Get Me Here embroiled ears and emotions in its own unique creative adventure to take favourite song moment. It is a lure of light and shadows, innocence and a sense of darker emotion aligning but cast with celebration and warm defiance and proving quite irresistible.

The Best Thing is just as compelling, West pure magnetism in voice and mood within an almost gossamer weave of electronics, a song to again spark the imagination into its own thoughts before Come to Me reveals its more earth bound soul and plea and The Edge wraps ears with its emotional revelation within electronic northern lights fuelled by pop resourcefulness. The pair proved just as immersive of ears and appetite as their predecessor and indeed the piano and voice sharing musing of While the Watchman Sleeps, it too even in its provocative balladry and shadows bearing an inherent pop energy.

Through the individual exploits of the robustly mesmeric World of Ours, another synthpop/folk rock majestic treat, and Flowers with its impassioned beauty and creative drama, the album only tightened its hold on captivation. Each, as those before them, just relished West’s craft in making a song which is simple beauty on the surface and skilled invention and imagination in its layers and textures, the outstanding Bippity Boppity joyously epitomising her dexterity with its gentle caresses, shimmering moods and teasing smile not forgetting the surges of tense drama.

With an extended version of New Moon completing its landscape, Stars Will Light the Way is one stunning and glorious encounter which has seduced our unbridled attention and time since first pressing that play button. It has been a journey of creativity to get to this point for PARABOLA WEST but every second leading to one of the year’s major highlights.

Stars Will Light the Way is out now digitally and on CD now across most stores including and where the Deluxe CD is available.    

Pete RingMaster 16/06/2022

Copyright RingMaster Review

Categories: Music

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