“Diamond Sailor” by Christian Parker

Taking the best parts of what makes your influences your heroes is the standard move in pop music, regardless of subgenre or scene, but I think that Christian Parker is looking to achieve something just a bit more tributary in his new single “Diamond Sailor” this July. Where a lot of his contemporaries would set out to make a ‘60s style pop track with a bit more whimsy on the backend of the instrumentation, Parker is set on developing a very straightforward work in this release, paying homage to the greatest elements of retro pop without quite giving himself over to the identity of a true throwback artist.

The colorful melodies in “Diamond Sailor” originally served as my favorite part of this release, but when I sat down with the music video for the song, I soon discovered that the visual scheme isn’t the only component of Parker’s material to bear a kaleidoscopic profile. There’s a boundless expression to both the imagery in the video and the music that inspired it, and I would even go so far as to say that seeing the two together creates a different overall narrative for this performance than listening to the song alone does, which hasn’t been true of many videos I’ve been reviewing lately.

When we reach the guitar solo in “Diamond Sailor,” the cathartic release I would expect at this juncture of the track isn’t nearly as satisfying as the mellow undertow of the music becomes, feeding into the unintrusive feel of the song as a whole. There’s scarcely a moment in which Parker isn’t putting all of his efforts into giving us a balanced hand in this single, and yet he doesn’t sound enslaved by the aesthetics of the harmony – quite the opposite, truth be told. I like his ambitiousness, and hopefully this is just a taste of what he can do in the right circumstances.

If you’ve been hankering for a classic rock listen that is neither overplayed nor saddled with a generic feel that has been all too common among the retro revivalists we’ve been seeing coming out of the woodwork in the past few years especially, Christian Parker just might have your number with this all-new single and music video. “Diamond Sailor” isn’t quite as flamboyant as its handle bills, but for what it lacks in indulgence it more than makes up for in originality on all fronts.

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