In a time of face masks, sanitizing and social distance, telework, digital conferencing and way too much time indoors, the latest album release by The National Parks could be considered by many as a literal breath of fresh air, a perfect analogy for the group’s upcoming Utah tour stops as well.
Released late last week, "Wildflower" is the fourth full-length album for the Utah-rooted band, and it boasts a sound and flow as unhindered, natural and free as its namesake flower, at least according to The National Parks’ lead singer/guitarist, Brady Parks.
“We’ve never felt more excited about anything we’ve ever created,” Parks said of "Wildflower."
In the past, he said band members had experienced pressure to conform to trends or update their style to satisfy what they felt the music industry expected. All of that was let go during the process of creating "Wildflower."
“This album was shedding that completely,” he explained. “We were not worried about fitting into a mold or chasing trends, just trying to be authentically us and kind of blocking out all the noise. Writing this album was just such a breath of fresh air because we got to focus on making the music we wanted to make. … With 'Wildflower,' we completely found who we are as a band.”
In conjunction with the album release, The National Parks revamped the concept of a tour to not only follow state and local social distancing guidelines, but also to share their music in a more intimate and personal way. The result is the "Campfire Tour," which is making a stop in Provo tonight. The acoustic event offered limited tickets and sold out almost immediately, with attendees granted the promise of an evening under the stars with a crackling fire and an acoustic take on "Wildflower" live.
“We hope that people can be uplifted and inspired by this record,” Parks said of the music. “Everyone goes through challenges and life can seem like a dark place sometimes. There’s a line in 'Wildflower' that’s the theme, ‘I know I must be planted for a reason.’ I hope people can get something out of it. You’re planted for a reason and even though things are hard, we can get through this together and there are better days ahead.”
For more insights on the album courtesy of Parks, or for a glimpse of the sold-out "Campfire Tour" show happening tonight, check back for a full feature story on Friday in the Daily Herald and at Heraldextra.com.