A moment in time with Mel Parsons - Regional News | Connecting Wellington
 Issue 221

Photo by Sabin Holloway

Sabotage album cover by Emma Hercus | Issue 221

Sabotage album cover by Emma Hercus

A moment in time with Mel Parsons by Madelaine Empson

Critically acclaimed Lyttleton-based artist Mel Parsons is about to release her sixth studio album. In Sabotage, ethereal and hypnotic soundscapes weave through contemplative songs, some dark, some raw, some seeded in lockdowns, all beautiful.

Sabotage is the latest addition to Parson’s award-winning body of work. 2022’s Slow Burn debuted at number three in the Official Top 40 album charts and number two in the Top 20 NZ album charts, while Glass Heart (2018) saw her win Best Folk Artist/Te Kaipuoro Taketake Toa at the 2020 Aotearoa Music Awards. Wellington audiences can catch the new album, which was recorded in Lyttleton at Basement Studio and co-written and produced with Josh Logan, when Parsons plays Old St Paul’s on Sunday the 16th of June before heading to Canada for a northern hemisphere festival run.

How are you feeling about the release of Sabotage on June the 7th? I’m so intrigued by the title…

I’m really looking forward to Sabotage coming out. It’s been fizzing away for a good while now, so having new music to tour is exciting for me. Mostly I just hope that the songs connect with people. The album title is from the name of one of the tracks… I like it as a title because it’s ambiguous, people can take Sabotage as they wish.

Listening to it against your debut Over My Shoulder in 2009, how do you think you have evolved as a singer-songwriter and musician over the years?

I don’t listen to my old records very often – in a lot of ways once they are out in the world I let them go. They capture a moment in time for me personally, but once they’re released they leave my consciousness for the most part other than when I play them live. The process of writing and producing means you are with those songs very intensely for a period of time and then you end up touring them a lot, and so naturally you want to move onto working on new things.

I hope that I have evolved as a songwriter but it’s hard for me to be objective about it. I’m probably faster at editing and knowing what might be a good vein to follow and what to bin in the ideas stage.

What are you most looking forward to about playing your first gig at Old St Paul’s? Such a beautiful venue!

Shows in Wellington are always the best (I mean it!) and I’ve heard so many great things about Old St Paul’s. The venue looks amazing, I’m very excited to hear the vocal harmony in there. There are a lot of beautiful harmonies on this new record – and my band are all killer singers so I’m looking forward to hearing them soar. Nothing quite as lovely as performing in a beautiful space with great natural reverb. Can’t wait, see you soon Welly x

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