Artist: Mel Parsons
Genre: Indie-Folk, Singer-songwriter
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Discography: Over My Shoulder (2009), Red Grey Blue (2011) Drylands (2015) Glass Heart (2018)
Record Label: Cape Road Recordings
Mel Parsons is one of New Zealand’s established indie-folk songwriting stars. Following the success of both her debut album ‘Over My Shoulder’ in 2009 and sophomore offering ‘Red Grey Blue’ in 2011 and ‘Drylands’ in 2015 she has just release her latest album ‘Glass Heart’. Mel has also been the two time NZ Music Award (VNZMA) finalist for Folk Album of the Year. With a dynamite live show, solo or with her band, Mel is an engaging performer with a natural emotive voice that allows the listener to become part of the story.
With home as a hotel room and a suitcase, Mel has built up her fan base the old fashioned way, winning over audiences on the live circuit. The only New Zealand artist invited to showcase at Folk Alliance International in Kansas City, USA in 2014 & 2015, Mel has also had recent tours in Australia, UK, Ireland, and Germany. She is also a cast member of Kiwi musical collective ‘Fly My Pretties‘, with tours and festival performances including the prestigious Byron Bay Bluesfest.
Closer to home, along with her own shows, Mel has double-billed sold out tours of NZ wool sheds with comedy duo ‘The Bitches’ Box’ performing over 100 shows together in some of the country’s most remote rural areas. Her second album ‘Red Grey Blue’ was called “one of New Zealand’s finest releases”*, and spent 28 weeks in the NZ independent album charts. Mel is signed to Australian-based publisher Native Tongue, and has released both of her records in NZ on Border Music & DRM.
An adventurer at heart, Mel grew up on a farm at Cape Foulwind near the small West Coast town of Westport, and her adventures to date have taken her all over the world – highlights including a year living on the edge of the Atacama desert in Chile, and two years in the Rocky Mountains of British Colombia.
‘Glass Heart’ is a bold and beautifully crafted body of work, which sees Parsons revealing a darker and fuller sound, while still retaining her trademark poignant storytelling. The album was recorded in Los Angeles with legendary American producer Mitchell Froom (Lindsey Buckingham Christine McVie, Crowded House, Missy Higgins, Randy Newman, Richard Thompson, Suzanne Vega) and an incredible cast of US-based musicians, including guitarist Adam Levy (Norah Jones), bass player Kaveh Rastegar (John Legend, Sia), drummer Ted Poor (Andrew Bird) and Froom on keyboards.
"I had been wanting to work with Mitchell for a few years, so when our schedules finally aligned things happened pretty quickly," says Parsons. "Mitchell and I had first been in touch back about working together back in 2015, but I've admired his work for a long time - he has produced some of my favourite albums."
"You hear about how amazing these people are - and obviously by reputation you know that they're operating at a really high level - but it wasn't until we started working on the songs and got into the studio that I experienced Mitchell's quiet genius firsthand."