Utah quartet The National Parks released their single “Wildflower” in preparation not only for warm weather but also for their upcoming studio album of the same name. Expected to release June 19th 2020 (pushed back from April), the album Wildflower contains fifteen down-to-earth tracks that spread neighborly, home-grown feelings.
The four friends have toured the US from coast to coast since the group’s formation in 2013. Frontman and creator Brady Parks handpicked Sydney Macfarlane, Cam Brannelly and Megan Parks to create a folk pop group that introduces orchestral and electronic elements to create a unique alternative sound. The warmth of a familiar face in juxtaposition with the breathlessness of adventure make up a large portion of The National Parks discography. Their albums “Places” (2017) and “Until I Live” (2015) bring to mind well-known folk favorites who share the genre such as Of Monsters and Men, Young the Giant and Imagine Dragons.
Wildflower(s) in a world of music
In a recent press release, Brady said, “In my mind, a wildflower is something so beautiful that grows and blooms in unexpected places and under the wide-open skies. It’s natural. It breaks free from any mold. That’s how we felt with this song and album – we see ourselves as wildflowers in this vast world of music.”
The album is timely, given the current state of anxiety that has blossomed with the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic. “There can be a lot of negative forces that can bring you down, but you can take that and continue to grow and bloom and be authentically yourself through it all,” says Parks. “[Wildflower is] an album about struggles and growth, hard times and faith, but with a message of encouragement that we can all get through anything and everything life throws at us.”
From the great outdoors to your headphones
The single “Wildflower” starts out with four beats of gritty distortion that fall way to a steady rhythmic drumming and hopeful piano. Parks’ gentle vocals carry listeners through the first verse, asserting “I must be planted for a reason.” By the time Macfarlane joins him on vocals at the chorus, the song takes on a buoyant, spirited quality. This is a track that will make fans feel surrounded by mountains even if they’re stuck on their couch during quarantine.
The music video for the track stays true to the group’s roots, shot near the band’s Southern Utah home. Director Jeremy Prusso took great care to embody the Provo quartet’s love of combining nature with music, utilizing wide cinematic shots of the beautiful, harsh landscape. At the end of the video, the four members have planted a cactus, the symbol of The National Parks. They walk away with a sense of finality, knowing their work has been done to plant hope in a barren place.