Dork Radio
Now playing:
In the mag...
Featuring Bastille, Aurora, Pixx, The Rhythm Method and loads more.
Order a copy
July 2019
Review

Stevie Parker - The Cure

Parker writes with a disarming, relatable frankness.
Stevie Parker - The Cure
Published: 1:05 pm, May 18, 2017
Parker writes with a disarming, relatable frankness.

Label: Virgin EMI
Released: 19th May 2017
Rating: ★★★

Building from mournful piano, echoing, trip-hoppy thwoks of snare and an insistent, submerged electric pulse like the faintest sign of life from a heart broken one too many times, Somerset-born Stevie Parker’s ‘Never Be’ drew a lot of attention when it appeared on SoundCloud in 2015.

With bitter doubt (“It seems you see through all of the things I try to be”) and brutally honest observations about the disintegration of a relationship (“You work around me carefully, perpetuate the irony/with intimations of all of the things we’ll never be”) giving way to a more urgent chorus, Parker’s voice leaps in a heartbeat from murmuring to passionate, cracked pleading. It’s a melancholy, impressive opener which, for better or for worse, quickly establishes the mood of ‘The Cure’ (“It’s not a light-hearted record”, as Parker told us last September).

And it’s mostly for the good: ‘Blue’ is sparse, with warm bass throbs - The xx with less of the icy detachment - while ‘Stay’’s multi-layered backing chant of “you can go” - (“but I want you to stay”, Stevie adds) - adds drama to the sombre jangle. ‘Prey’ and ‘Without You’, meanwhile, are rare up-tempo, if not exactly upbeat, diversions. The snapping drums and chiming acoustics to a propulsive, soulful bassline which softens desperation’s sharp edges (“I’m not living, I’m just biding my time/Where is your love to keep me satisfied?”), while the second is coolly defiant (“Could have dived into your bed / But I’m doing alright without you”).

Although Parker writes with a disarming, relatable frankness, all the heartbreak and high drama can make ‘The Cure’ a little wearying in spots - a few more primary colours would be welcome. But as the title might suggest, there’s a story being told here and ‘I’ve Been Waiting’ - soulful but with touches of dream pop’s reflecting swirl - suggests she’s getting better. By the warm, dubby closer ‘This Time’, there are more than glimmers of hope, and, singing “I won’t let this phase me / It’s too late to erase me now”, she's determined that her experiences have changed her for the better. However bleak, it's a voyage that's ultimately redemptive. Rob Mesure

Give all this a try

Let The Rhythm Method take control: "We want to entertain people"
Feature

Let The Rhythm Method take control: "We want to entertain people"

London’s premier pop masterminds have finally arrived with their debut album.
Stormzy, Metronomy, Blossoms, The Regrettes and more - this is what's new on the Dork Radio playlists this week
Dork Radio

Stormzy, Metronomy, Blossoms, The Regrettes and more - this is what's new on the Dork Radio playlists this week

Here are the new tracks joining our heavy rotation this week.
Like this? Subscribe to Dork and get every issue delivered direct to your door anywhere on the planet.
CONTACT PRIVACY ADVERTISE

© 2018 The Bunker Publishing