Tag Archives: young

Q&A: Brady Parks of The National Parks

the national parks

Breakout folk-pop trio The National Parks are breaking barriers and making a name for themselves. The Utah-based band’s debut album, Young, peaked at lucky number 13 on the iTunes singer/songwriter charts, already solidifying what we knew about this interesting group: They’re ridiculously talented. With stunning music videos on Youtube and a unique sound, The National Parks are poised for stardom. Check out Planet Stereo’s interview with Brady Parks:


Planet Stereo: Thanks so much for doing the interview. How are you?

Brady Parks: Fantastic!


PS: Your new video for “Helsinki,” has recently been released and it is beautiful. How involved in the process of creating the video were you?

BP: Normally, we’re extremely involved in every step of the process, but this one was a little different. Jonathan Turner (director) contacted us and told us he was a huge fan and wanted to make a video. We hadn’t met him but we know his filmmaking resume, so we were definitely interested. He had ideas for a few songs, but when he pitched the idea for “Helsinki” and told us he wanted to take a crew to Finland to shoot on location, we were sold. Jonathan kept us in the loop as they fleshed out the concept, made casting decisions, etc., and then during the post-production process too, so we were involved but primarily just in terms of giving approval throughout the different steps.


PS: Young was such an incredible album. Do you have a favorite track?

BP: Thank you. It’s hard to pick a favorite because each one has a unique memory, situation, or experience attached to it that makes it special in some way. I think I feel most attached to the song “Bird’s Eye” on the album. It’s one that means a lot to me and has taken on several different meanings to me as time has gone on.


PS: What is your favorite part about going into the studio?

BP: I love everything about the studio. My favorite part is watching a song come to life as different ideas are poured into it. It’s amazing to bring in a core idea and then watch it explode into something new.


PS: Would you mind walking me through the creative process?

BP: For me, the creative process starts with an emotion that sparks a general idea for a song. When this happens, I grab my guitar and start finding chords and melodies that fit that emotion. The lyrics then seem to fall into place like a puzzle. After the song is written, I bring it to the band and we all play it and polish it. I then like to create a demo of it where I can experiment with new sounds and ideas before taking it to the studio where the magic happens.


PS: Can I ask, why the name The National Parks (other than your surname)?

BP: Well, my last name is definitely a factor. [However,] we also feel that a lot of our music has been inspired by nature and the parallels that can be found between nature and life, love, religion, etc. So overall it just seems to fit us.


PS: Your songs seem to have a lot of soul and emotion packed into them. Do you ever find it difficult to bare your soul to such a vulnerable extent?

BP: I actually really enjoy that part. There is something cathartic about being able to express something out loud that you would have trouble just saying in a normal way.


PS: What would you like people to come away with when they hear your album?

BP: We want people to enjoy it, of course, but also we hope that it can be inspiring to some degree too. We want it to be more than just entertainment so hopefully the music can help them in someway. We are very excited for our new album and we hope that people will be able to relate to it and be able to take something away from it that will benefit them in their lives.


The National Parks – “Meridians (Acoustic)”


PS: Do you have a favorite song to perform live?

BP: Right now I would say that our single, “As We Ran,” is my favorite to play live. It has been the song we open our shows with for a while now and it never gets old to play. There is a lot of energy from the beginning of the song that the crowd really reacts to. It seems to break down the invisible barrier between us and the crowd which sets the tone for the rest of the show.


PS: How did you get involved in music?

BP: I’ve always loved music. I took piano lessons when I was a kid and then picked up guitar in high school. Since then I’ve been writing songs and really got serious about it in college. The music scene in Provo is amazing and has really helped us grow as a band.


PS: If you could work with any artist, past or present,who would it be and why?

BP: I would pick Justin Vernon. I would love to sit down with him and just pick his brain. Collaborating with him would be amazing.


PS: As artists who really seem to utilize YouTube, what advice would you offer other artists in regards to promotion?

BP: We find it helpful to remember that we were fans way before we were artists. Quite often, we’ll ask ourselves, “What kind of things would I want my own favorite bands to be doing?” and then we just do those things. That sounds pretty obvious [laughs], but it really has helped. And that definitely applies to YouTube – we love watching good music videos and we personally use YouTube to discover new music all the time so we wanted to allow fans to enjoy and discover our music that way too.


For more on The National Parks, please click HERE.

You can purchase tickets and buy CDs HERE.

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The National Parks Release New Video

the national parks

Breakout folk-pop trio, and one of Planet Stereo’s Artists You Must Hear, The National Parks recently debuted their latest video for “Helsinki” on NPR All Songs Considered. The single is from their debut album, Young, which peaked at lucky number 13 on iTunes singer/songwriter charts. Please take a moment to view the video, directed by Jonathan Turner, below:

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1001 Songs Challenge: Day Thirty-Two



Wednesday. Hump day. No matter what name you give it, the middle of the week can be a pain to get through. But hopefully, there will be some songs on this playlist to amp me back up for the weekend.

1. Into The Mystic – Van Morrison

As previously stated, I love Van Morrison. That man could play guitar and sing the phonebook, and I’d be pretty happy. “Into The Mystic” is such a charming little song, and the music has this gorgeous, slow, summertime feel to it. I find myself swaying and daydreaming about driving along the coast. It’s the perfect song. Can we have more of this for the rest of the challenge please?

2. Get Up (I Like Being a) Sex Machine – James Brown

This is such a bold, in-your-face song, with a definite style. James Brown is outgoing, and his unique ability to get the crowd involved makes this song fun to listen to. I feel like this should be a song people should listen to before they go out or when they wake up in the morning, just for an energetic jolt.

3. Ohio – Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young

Instrumentally, I found this track pretty enjoyable. The harmonies are also really impressive, although it does feel a bit much occasionally throughout the song’s timing. It’s still an interesting listen, but after James Browns’s fantastic jolt, it falls a bit flat.

4. The Only Living Boy In New York – Simon and Garfunkel

Simon and Garfunkel were seriously talented, and here’s a song that showcases that talent beautifully. I love the acoustic vibe, and the  storytelling aspect of the lyrics. Seriously, give it a listen, and tell me you don’t fall in love.

5. In a Broken Dream – Python Lee Jackson

Rod Stewart is a guest vocalist on this track, the band’s most famous song. There is a definite power to his voice, especially when paired with the moody instrumental, with its raging guitar solo. I must admit, I found myself in awe, wanting to listen again and again.

6. Oh Lonesome Me – Neil Young

Just as the title would suggest, this is a definite sad song for the ages. If you’re looking to throw yourself a bit of a pity party, this is the anthem for you, my friend. While I love it for the emotion that is brilliantly conveyed, it’s a bit of a downer, even with its great beats.

7. 54-46 Was My Number – Toots and The Maytals

A prison/protest anthem for the ages, there is something so soulful and rebellious in this song’s spirit. It’s the awakening of the punk era slowly coming into life. I wasn’t sure how much I would enjoy this, but I found myself enamored with it.

8. Working Class Hero – John Lennon

The third Beatle whose solo work is featured over the last two days. Half-spoken, half-sung, the vocals on this track aren’t incredible by any means, but I think it’s more of the lyrical narrative that people fall in love with when hearing this song. There is a power to his commentary on how the world will beat you down and then tell you to get up and make a decision, no matter its effect. It’s a fantastic social commentary that wakes people up by shattering the illusion they have been spoon fed since birth.

9. Box of Rain – The Grateful Dead

The Grateful Dead always reminds me of high school journalism class. My love for this band was something my teacher and I initially bonded over, as she had a Grateful Dead poster by the board. If you don’t listen to this track and fall in love, there is something terribly the matter. The vocals aren’t perfect, but they’re wonderful because they’re flawed.

10. Life On Mars? – David Bowie

Once again, who doesn’t love David Bowie? There is a dream-like quality to this song that is entrancing. It seems so ambiguous, in a sense that almost anyone could find something to latch onto in regards to meaning.


Today’s playlist was interesting, to say the least. There was an eclectic mix of tunes to enjoy, which kept me intrigued from track one onwards. At least I survived the middle of the week, that sneaky bump in the road.

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REVIEW: Night Riots–Young Lore EP



“Back To Your Love” hits me like an unexpected wave. It’s light; a song to dance to, a song to sing to, a song to drive to. It pulls you under, and intrigues you. The rest of the EP has high standards to live up to, especially to a track that could easily be found on the radio being requested again and again.

“Remedy” is reminiscent of a piece of an 80’s film soundtrack. It’s watching Farmer Ted slowly pull the car out of Jake Ryan’s garage, even though he can’t drive stick. It’s seeing Ferris Beuller stealthily avoid adults in his life to insure that he has the best day off. At its core, this is a love song. “You’re my remedy, you’re my cure,” is not exactly an original sentiment, but the way Night Riots present it, you’d never know.

Let me admit something right now: I hate spiders. They creep me out beyond belief, and just seeing the word makes me itch. I did not have high hopes for “Spiders” as a track, but then it began playing, slow and steady, with guitar parts seemed to sing the 60s and mimic the 80s. Despite being my least favorite creature, “Spiders” may be my favorite track on the EP, if not just for the purity of the sound and the lyrics. Something about it is hopeful, it’s powerful, and it’s impossible to ignore.

“Masks” is another on my list of possible favorites, though I’m not sure how to explain why. My biggest peeve with this song is that it seems to fly by too fast, despite being almost four minutes long. Whether or not it’s because it’s easy to get lost in the sound, I don’t know. “Does Holy water make you pure?” Night Riots ask, almost challenging people to think. Songs like this remind me of why I love music; it makes you feel. It makes you think. The simple truth is that this is melodic and smart, adding to its appeal and allowing Night Riots to mark their territory on your iPod.

“Loyal Blood” is a happy, indie-esque track that does encourage hip swaying, head bobbing, and possible feet stomping. It also solidifies the idea that Night Riots should tour with Young The Giant. Just sayin’.

While the rest of the album carries an almost sunny-disposition, “Young Lore” starts off slower, with a soft tone, like the introduction to a feel good moment (peaceful choir sold separately). When it picks up, each line, each beat, is catchier than the next, finishing the EP off as strongly as it began.

Overall, I loved Young Lore, because it’s fun, it’s catchy, and wonderfully written. Five stars!

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