Gifted visual artist, songwriter and musician PARKER has released her iridescent new single Can't Keep Waiting, a once-in-a-lifetime song, one that soundtracks a grand leap into the unknown and away from everything comfortable and safe. PARKER has also announced a cinematic video clip to accompany the track, made in collaboration with director and technology artist Jaymis Loveday (Emma Louise, Ball Park Music) and sculptor Briony Law. PARKER has just completed an artist residency at Sawtooth ARI gallery alongside drawer and sculptor Jo Lane, in order to prepare their upcoming exhibition You, Me and that Other Thing, an exploration into human connection.
Can't Keep Waiting is transcendental, meditative; at times it feels almost ambient, with heavy, industrial percussion and repetitive synth patterns. But one thing that pulls the track into a truly close, emotive space is PARKER's soft, intimate yet commanding voice. Evocative of Massive Attack and the lyrical and vocal prowess of Lana Del Rey, Can't Keep Waiting is epic and overflows with the power of primal human emotion. "Can't Keep Waiting is about gathering the courage to be honest with myself. It's about letting go of all that is safe and familiar in life in order to evolve and grow," explains Parker. "I believe it's in the moments when we feel completely lost that we find the opportunity to discover something new about ourselves. Nothing is permanent, everything can change. Each moment we have the ability to create ourselves anew."
Already receiving multiple accolades, including Best Concept at Clipped Music Video Festival in Sydney, Best Music Video at the Los Angeles Film Awards, New York Film Awards and Top Shorts, not to mention selection for screening at the Austria International Film Festival, the clip for Can't Keep Waiting is a triumph of a true marriage between sound, visual art, and cinema. Made by PARKER, in collaboration with Jaymis Loveday and Briony Law, the clip sees clay mounds, turning gracefully to human forms, dissolving in a deep-seascape with very little light from above. PARKER displays a clear and intricate understanding of her art, as she describes the clip, "The clip concept for this song was born out of a video installation work I made called Dissolving Self. Dissolving Self was a projection installation of a video art work. The video was a of a clay cast of my face dissolving in water set on a loop that made it look like it was falling apart and then rebuilding. I showed the work to my friend Jaymis Loveday and he suggested we make an extension of the work by creating full body casts and miniature models using a larger tank and cinematography techniques in the filming. Brisbane based sculptor Briony Law worked closely with me on the sculpting of the plaster landscapes and made all of the body casts and moulds for us to create the figures."
You, Me and that Other Thing is the title of the upcoming exhibition that will see PARKER and Jo Lane explore the many facets of human connection. The exhibition will consist of three parts: historic works where inspiration has already manifested, a transition piece, and the work from an experimental performance of unity. PARKER and Jo Lane have spent the last two weeks in residency at Sawtooth ARI, working side by side in a dedicated studio space where the exhibition will take place. Giving her audience a taste of what to expect from the exhibition, PARKER enthuses, "We will create a body of work together around the theme of human connection combining Jo's skills in drawing and sculpting and mine in sound and video. The Exhibition will combine a collection of our existing works and the new work we make during the residency."
Question: How would you describe your music?
Tash Parker: Like swimming in bioluminescence in the depths of the ocean.
Question: Can you tell us about Can't Keep Waiting?
Tash Parker: Can't Keep Waiting is a song about find yourself and letting go of whatever you need to in order to grow. It's a song about embracing change and being brave enough to allow yourself to transform into a better version of yourself.
Question: What inspired the track?
Tash Parker: This song was inspired by a one-hour songwriting challenge word prompt. This week the word was 'Waiting' and I had just arrived in New York on a study tour for my fine arts degree. I was also feeling super raw from a recent break-up. I was so far from home and I knew I needed to find the courage to continue. I wrote this song as a mantra to myself, to reassure myself that I was going to be ok.
Question: What was it like filming the cinematic video clip for Can't Keep Waiting?
Tash Parker: So much fun, it was like working on an art and science project with your best friends. Jaymis Loveday has so much incredible equipment and an amazingly creative mind. We got to experiment with 3D Printing, VR sculpting, moulding and casting, dance choreography, singing underwater and robot camera operating. Sculptor Briony Law was so great to work with also. She sculpted all of the plaster landscapes and helped me make all the casts and moulds. We spent about five sessions over the course of 12 months making the clip and ate a lot of Korean fried chicken on our lunch breaks.
Question: Do you prefer performing live or recording?
Tash Parker: Oh this is such a hard question as they are two distinctly different things and I think they can both be challenging in their own ways. If I had to choose one though it would have to be recording because there are so many creative possibilities; you can build whole worlds in a recording that are almost impossible to create in a live performance.
Question: Which is your favourite song to perform live and why?
Tash Parker: I love performing a version of my song Superhuman (coming out next year) with my side project Ladychoir. It's an acapella arrangement for six female voices and there is a bit at the end where we all repeatedly sing 'I am super human' in close harmony and I feel like we become one super powerful femmebot.
If you could have anyone, in the world, attend a show, who would it be?
Tash Parker: I'd love to perform for all the creatures in an aquarium.
Question: What motivates you most when writing music?
Tash Parker: Some kind of emotional upheaval though I try not to only write during those times. Songwriting is used therapeutically in those times and then the rest of the time I work on songs with the people I collaborate with in PARKER and my other project Runaway Belles in a more structured way. I am motivated by deadlines so I try to book in sessions and timelines to work to.
Question: Which music/artists are you currently listening to?
Tash Parker: I've been listening to the latest Lana del Rey record and loving how un-pop it is; also the Olafur Arnalds record Re:meber is on regular rotation.
Question: What or who was your inspiration to go into the music industry?
Tash Parker: Don't judge me but when I was in primary school I was obsessed with Mariah Carey, I especially loved the song she did with Boyz II Men - One Sweet Day. I would re-watched that YouTube clip and I'm still inspired.
Question: If you could collaborate with another artist, who would it be?
Tash Parker: I've always wanted to make a really weird record with Devendra Banhart, it would be totally different to the PARKER sound but I just think he has such a playful approach to making records and he is also an incredible visual artist.
Question: What is the biggest challenge you have faced along the way to your musical success?
Tash Parker: The biggest challenge I have faced is not believing in myself and my art. For a long time I didn't think I was good enough, strong enough, brave enough to be a full time musician and artist. Overcoming those beliefs with the help of my family and friends and creativity coach Mijo Biscan has meant I've been able to make work I never thought possible before.
Question: What's a typical day like?
Tash Parker: I'm so lucky, I work full time in my beautiful home studio on my art and music. This is what a day roughly looks like for me when I'm not in the studio recording or on tour: wake up at 6am, make a cup of tea and sit in my favourite window looking out through the trees to the mountains. Practice gratitude for five minutes and read through my long term goals and vision for my music and art practice. Post an image on Instagram and then go down to my favourite cafe and have a coffee and catch up on emails and admin. Come home, practice piano and do singing exercises. Rehearse anything that needs working on; listen through to current songs on the go and write and record ideas to send to people I'm working with. Before sunset I go for a walk in Cataract Gorge then come home and make a healthy dinner, listen to music, read and meditate before bed. So wholesome!
Question: What has been your favourite part of becoming a music artist?
Tash Parker: Finding a community of people who I truly connect with. I grew up in the Kimberley and I always felt like an outsider. Following my heart and my music and art has led me to meet the most incredible community of artists and musicians and I feel like I truly belong now.
Question: Can you share your socials?
Tash Parker: facebook.com/iamtashparker
Interview by Brooke Hunter