Now on Dork Radio...
Launch player | TuneIn
In the mag...
Featuring Pale Waves, Maggie Rogers, Death Cab For Cutie and more.
Order a copy
August 2018
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

Pale Waves have dropped their latest 'My Mind Makes Noises' track, 'Black'
Listen

Pale Waves have dropped their latest 'My Mind Makes Noises' track, 'Black'

The new cut debuted on Zane Lowe's Beats 1 show.
Death Cab For Cutie: Thank you for today
Feature

Death Cab For Cutie: Thank you for today

Death Cab For Cutie return with a new line-up, and a renewed sense of fun.
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