Darkness and melancholia go hand-in-hand for many musicians, and Mel Parsons is no exception. ‘Glass Heart’ has dual emotions of sadness and resignation in buckets, but also is full of hushed, dusty beauty.
As an album opener, Blame will surely resonate and confront at the same time, the opening lyrics, “I blame your mother for every little thing,” pulling no punches.
Her fourth album is firmly rooted in the alt-country-folk genre that Parsons has been working in, but there’s a bit of Americana creeping in (I Got the Lonely), as well as some fleeting pop touches too (check out the drumbeat and chorus of Just ‘Cause You Don’t Want Me), while the weary folk introspection of the title track is affecting, and the album’s emotional core.
What Would You Change is an interesting note to end the album on – a moment of reflection and clarity, a questioning of choices that led to this moment.
Beautifully recorded in LA with legendary producer Mitchell Froom (also providing keyboards), these songs have a way of sounding both sparse and lush at the same time, the focus rightly on Parsons’ haunting, naturally smokey voice.
It may be a step in the same direction style-wise for Parsons but ‘Glass Heart’ has the subtle nuances and raw flourishes to take it beyond the norms of alt-country-folk, revealing an album that is a dark and luscious treat.