It’s a common dilemma to be caught in between the past and the future; not living in the present, over-concerned about mistakes and events that are already set in stone and not letting yourself move forwards, and move on. This limbo is precisely what indie Americana troubadour Jeremy Parsons is playing out, reflecting upon, and using as a springboard to change his trajectory as the future unfolds on his latest album Things To Come.
Over the course of the past decade Parsons has built up a hefty reputation touring across the US and Europe – taking the time to interact with his audiences after every show, Parsons conveys his sheer passion and enthusiasm for music as a self-taught guitarist and shares how much his craft means to him. In that time on the road however, there’s been adequate opportunity to experience numerous highs and lows, to live through a series of scenarios that don’t turn out as you’d once hoped.
This seems to be where Parsons is stuck, in that purgatory of unresolved issues that plague his mind – with track titles like ‘Things To Come’, ‘Good Ole Days’, and ‘Looking Back’, you might think that Parsons has an unhealthy obsession with his past. Maybe so, but writing this album has merely become a cathartic means of self-progression, digging into his past and mentally rectifying where he went wrong and how to make amends before letting it lie.
“Time is a healer and life must go on, so here’s to all the things to come” he swoons on the album opener and title-track, perhaps reluctantly, but he still manages to hopefully raise a glass to the bounty of life ahead of him. Ironically, even the timbre and tone of his voice harks back to a bygone era, but his forest-dwelling brand of heart-wrenching indie folk belongs firmly in the present.
‘Tragedy’ incorporates mandolin and Spaghetti Western-esque lead guitar lines to hammer home his point about a “lonely fool in a crowded room, can’t love nobody if you don’t love you”, with self-acceptance at the track’s core. The pensive cadences of ‘I Am’ further amplify the powerful theme of nostalgia that’s ever-present on the album. “There’s some things you can’t take back” he laments, but later accepts.
Parsons seems to be treading a similar path to that of Ryan Adams and Father John Misty, artists that gave country music credentials with indie crowds, and exposed country artists to an entirely new crossover audience. Despite not utilising the same kind of sardonic, esoteric lyricism of the latter, Parsons lyrics cut through you like a knife – there’s instances in all of our lives that we regret, dwell upon, and straight up just don’t ever get over. And those experiences resonate in his music.
In ‘Good Ole Days’ Parsons sighs that he’s “looking forward to looking back on things.” Having relocated back to Texas from Nashville, this hazy, sweet, and introspective album signifies that it’s time to leave his past behind and venture forwards. Now, he’s ready to do so.