A gentle-voiced Australian artist whose introspective folk songs and earthy tone harken back to the singer/songwriter era of the early '70s, Dan Parsons made his name with a series of warmly captured albums in the early 2010s. As a multi-instrumentalist and producer, he redefined his sound on his back-to-basics, self-titled release in 2013, setting up a stylistic shift that would inform later outings like 2018's Sunday Morning Cinema.
Raised in the town of Cedar Creek in rural Queensland, Parsons' musical inclinations were widely supported by his parents and by the age of 15, he'd already begun playing in local venues around the Brisbane area. The influence of classic singer/songwriters like James Taylor and Townes Van Zandt looms large in his music, which tends toward warm, organic instrumentation and a pleasing, laid-back vocal style. His debut album, 2010's Firestarter, was recorded in Melbourne by producer John Castle. An overall lusher effort than what he would later become known for, it effectively put him on the map and was supported by trips to Los Angeles and the U.K. For his eponymous 2013 follow-up, Parsons took a more stripped-down approach, recording himself on a vintage reel-to-reel tape recorder and playing most of the instruments himself. 2015's slightly more robust Valleywood took a similar tack and earned him a nomination for Best Folk-Roots Album at the Age Music Victoria Awards. Along the way, Parsons simultaneously established himself as a go-to session player and gun for hire, touring with acts like Marlon Williams and Kate Miller-Heidke. Throughout his career, he has recorded both solo and with pick-up bands (that often lasted for a single tour). By 2018, a more fully formed band had coalesced around him and he took them into the studio for lively four-day session, recording straight to tape. The resulting album, Sunday Morning Cinema, arrived in August of that year. ~ Timothy Monger