Kat Parsons: Talk to Me
It has been seven years since Kat Parsons’ last release with her second album, ‘No Will Power’. The Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter and pop rock artist has, however, returned on splendid form with ‘Talk to Me’, the first of three EPs that she will be releasing this year.
Each EP has a different theme, and ‘Talk to Me’ is about a romance between Parsons and another singer-songwriter that came to a messy end.
Parsons has always been an exceptional talent, one who has been constantly able to pack a punch with her vocals. Never one to wallow in rhetoric or vagaries, she has always caught emotions evocatively and instantly. With ‘Talk to Me’, more so than any other of her recordings, she also proves that she is able to tell a story, and to tell it well.
The majority of the five songs on ‘Talk to Me’ come directly from after the affair is over. Tingling piano ballad, ‘Thinking Through’, finds Parsons incapacitated and shocked at herself for being laid so low after the break-up (“I am far too self involved to be much good for anyone else.”). Breezy orchestral pop anthem, ‘Differently’, uses synthesised brass and strings and reveals that Parsons still wants to believe in happy endings, just wonders if she herself will ever have one (Where, oh where is he with a glass slipper?”). The softly smouldering title track is meanwhile a ballad for the sleepless small hours, and captures the slow agony as someone you have cared for decides, rather than to make a clean cut of it, to break up with you by freezing you out instead (“All I want is a word from you/Even if it is over/We’re through”).
The overwhelming feeling that Kat Parsons conveys on the ‘Talk to Me’ EP is, however, of anger, anger certainly at her ex-boyfriend for treating her badly, but above all at herself for allowing herself to be fooled by him.
This is exemplified by the tracks that bookend the EP. The first track, ‘Fall for It’, expresses with its spiky, surging guitars and Parsons’ fiery vocal a real sense of rage and self-disgust. “I’m good all on my own/Believe me, don’t need anyone else/I know my way around the world/I do just fine /But you were beautiful and persistent,” she sings in its powerful opening lines. The final song ‘TV Radio’, another soaring rock number, is no less bittersweet. “You look different because you are on TV/You sound different when you are on the radio,” she spits both at her ex and herself, before concluding sadly but with heightened wisdom, “Reality isn’t all that it is cracked up to be.”
‘Talk to Me’ deals with the issues of pain and loss with acute accuracy, sparkling atmosphere and occasional surprising humour. An outstanding EP, it is a record of haunting quality and unflinching self-honesty.
Kat Parson's single 'Talk to Me' is available for a limited period of time from her website http://www.KatParsonsMusic.com.