Stories » Richard Reed Parry's new solo album makes Under the Radar's '11 best songs from the last 2 weeks'

Top 10 for Aug

Richard Reed Parry's new solo album makes Under the Radar's '11 best songs from the last 2 weeks'

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We took a break from Songs of the Week last week due to a little vacation by our publishers. So this week we are compiling the best songs of the last two weeks. Hence we couldn't contain the list to our usual Top 10, although we didn't do too badly, only expanding to a Top 11 and a few more honorable mentions than usual. There are admittedly lots of Songs of the Week repeat contenders this week, artists who have recently already had songs make the list. To help you sort through the multitude of fresh songs released in the last two weeks, we have picked the 11 best the last 14 days had to offer, along with highlighting other notable new tracks shared in the last fortnight. 

Arcade Fire multi-instrumentalist Richard Reed Parry is releasing a new solo album, Quiet River of Dust Vol. 1, on September 21 via ANTI-, his first for the label. As the title suggests, it's the first part of a two volume series, with part two due out next spring. Previously he shared a combined animated video for two of its songs, "Sai No Kawara (River of Death)" and "On the Ground" (they both made our Songs of the Week list). This week he shared another song from the album, the six-and-a-half-minute long "Song of Wood." It's a simply gorgeous track and well deserving of this week's top spot.

Parry had this to say about the song in a press release: "'Song of Wood' started in Montreal on my porch in the rain, with a little loop from an iPhone 4 synthesizer app that doesn't seem to exist anymore. I started writing something that I thought was going to be a folk-style 'riddle' song: 'Gave my love a cherry that had no stone / Gave my love a chicken that had no bone' but it turned into something else. I finished it in upstate New York when my friend Caroline Shaw sang a bunch of very magical layers of vocals. There's a quiet moment close to the end that I really like, when you can hear a lot of cicadas that I recorded in a forest in Kyoto, Japan, with Andrew Barr gently playing pieces of driftwood."

The seeds of the album were first planted a decade ago during Arcade Fire's first tour of Japan. Parry hung around Japan for several weeks after the tour ended, finding himself in a monastery, an experience he describes in a press release as "the biggest silence you've ever heard."

Parry elaborates in a press release: "The song 'On the Ground' was inspired by an encounter with ghost voices in a Japanese forest near a temple on the mountain Koya-Sān. I told director Caleb Wood the story - of being alone in this magical environment of giant cedar trees and hearing a loud chorus of powerful harmony singing that sounded inexplicably identical to my late father's folk band the Friends of Fiddler's Green, who were the soundtrack to my entire childhood and upbringing."

Parry also had this to say about the album in the press release: "I'm lousy at sitting still and being nothing. But being out in the natural world or being immersed in music is the meditation for me. That's the heart of this record: the experience of transcending the place that you're in, getting lost in the feeling of where you end and where the world begins, in a dreamlike world of music and thought."

SEE ALL 11 SONGS FROM Under the Radar