“Spirit of the Trees” by Christian Parker

There’s a lot of patience in the guitar-born harmonies of the new single “Spirit of the Trees” by Christian Parker, but not for one second does it sound like our leading man is dragging through this song with zero interest in the urgency within the lyrics. Rather than following suit with his singer/songwriter contemporaries, Parker sounds more determined to slow down the flow of the material in the name of getting the most out of every melodic facet contained in the single. He gets what he set out for here, and I think other critics are going to agree.

The attitude Parker is bringing with him to the recording studio is one that I would expect to hear out of a rising star in the folk underground, but with one key distinction – the production polish here isn’t the main attraction in “Spirit of the Trees” at all. On the contrary, the actual substance of the song centers on the way this player can bring rhythm and rhyme together with a touch of Americana in the mix just for good measure. Call him old-school if you want, but this is the kind of musician that the greater folk movement both in and outside of the United States needs at the moment.  

Parker’s raw lead vocal makes a lot of sense for the backdrop, but I could also see him taking on the verses with a more refined edge in a live performance and giving us just as good a version of “Spirit of the Trees” as he has here. He’s got so much love in his voice that he could be as versatile as he sees fit if put in the right circumstances, and though I haven’t seen him play on the stage myself, this is a good preview of his skillset if I’ve ever heard one before.  

These lyrics are on the simpler side, but this allows for Parker’s personality and energy at the microphone to become the true stars of the show in this single. “Spirit of the Trees” is such an artist-driven piece that it doesn’t need anything elaborate cosmetically to sound like a lumbering juggernaut we need to look out for as it comes barreling out of the speakers, but that said, we aren’t dealing with a conventional folk artist at all – the exact opposite, I would say.  

You don’t have to love folk music to appreciate the talents of one Christian Parker right now, but those of you reading this article who are into the better side of the hipster beat would be wise to spend some time with the new single “Spirit of the Trees” this April. Parker has a charisma I just can’t find enough of in any genre of music at the moment, let alone one as near and dear to my heart as folk is. He’s using it for everything it’s worth here, and leaving a charming sizzle in the air with every note he plays in this amazingly well-crafted new material. 

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