Following the recent release of their latest album A Mix For The End Of The World – Part 1, The National Parks are taking the music world by storm. With folk influences and a knack for writing meaningful lines that could resonate with anyone, Brady Parks, lead vocalist and guitarist of the band, shared what their new album is all about and what we can look forward to seeing in the future. Read on to find out more.
How would you describe your sound to someone who has not heard it before?
Brady Parks: I would say we are somewhere along the lines of folk/pop/rock that’s perfect for making out or driving around with the windows down on road trips.
What’s the story of how you all came together to form The National Parks?
Brady Parks: We are lucky to have gotten our start in Provo, UT. There is an incredible music scene in Provo that all centers around a venue called Velour. That’s where we got our start. We met through mutual friends within that scene and it’s been an incredible journey from there.
Your sound has been compared to that of The Lumineers, Mumford & Sons and The Head and The Heart a number of times. Have any of them served as inspiration for you throughout your musical journey?
Brady Parks: We love getting those comparisons because those bands have all been huge inspirations to us. We feel that we are very much our own thing within the folk/pop world, but we have been inspired by the big/energetic sound of Mumford, the intimate lyrical world of The Lumineers, and the fun pop feels of The Head and The Heart. We love all those bands.
What was the first time you realized that, as a band, there was a real shot of making it big?
Brady Parks: I don’t think it was one moment, but for me, it’s a combination of little moments that build on each other. Like the first time we sold out Velour in Provo to our first tour to our first major festival to hearing our song in a movie. It’s all of those wins that keep us going and point to reaching more people with our music.
Your single “As We Ran” for the 2014 short film Love In The Tetons has amassed over 20 million Spotify streams. What has that song meant for you as a band?
Brady Parks: It’s been so fun to see “As We Ran” get that kind of attention. That is one of our favorite songs to play live, and we love knowing that it has connected with our fans!
Your three most recent singles “Headlights”, “Summer Bird” and “UFO” all revolve around the concept of love. Is that where you draw most of your inspiration from when it comes to songwriting?
Brady Parks: I definitely draw my inspiration from what’s going on in my life and the world around me. Those songs came from a place of reflection on my life with Megan (violinist and wife) and how even though this world can seem dark at times, there is so much joy to be had in the moments with the people we love.
A Mix For The End Of The World – Part 1 is your new album, released on Friday, October 8th. How is this album different from those that came before it?
Brady Parks: This album is different in the sense that we are releasing it in two parts. We wanted to try a new approach to releasing an album and felt like these songs really fit perfectly together to tell part of the story. Musically, we just wanted to let the music come out of us and not overthink it. It was such a smooth and beautiful process from start to finish with this group of songs.
What is the new album about?
Brady Parks: This album is about the crazy times we are all living in. It’s about highs and lows and love through the uncertainty of our day. It’s about wanting to get back to the basics and just live happily and know that life is still beautiful. Sometimes it’s hard to see that with everything going on.
Part two of the album will be out in 2022, but in the meantime, what differences can we expect to hear between the two parts?
Brady Parks: Part two of the album will be similar to part one, but we always like to throw some surprises out there, as well. Expect what you love from The National Parks but with new twists and fun production elements.
What is each of your favorite tracks on A Mix For The End Of The World – Part 1?
You just headlined the first-ever Superbloom Music Festival on Saturday, October 9th, and although this was not your first festival appearance, it was the first time you’ve been able to see this event come to life. What did that mean to you and what were you most excited for before it began?
Brady Parks: Superbloom was an unreal experience! I think I was most excited to see the fest come together and watch people experience it all. We were blown away by the response and getting to play our music in that setting felt so magical.
What made you choose Zion National Park as the location of Superbloom Music Festival?
Brady Parks: We wanted to create this fest to celebrate life and music in one of our favorite places – Southern Utah. Southern Utah is surrounded by natural beauty and it just felt right to throw a fest where people could experience music and outdoor activities, like hiking in Zion National Park, all in one spot. The world is so beautiful and we just wanted our fest to emphasize that.
Photo Credit: Superbloom Music Festival
If you could give one piece of advice to someone getting started in music, what would it be?
Brady Parks: It may sound cliche, but I would say to follow your heart and what is inside of you. Don’t worry about outside pressures. You don’t need to fit a mold because the world needs to hear what YOU have to say. Keep going when it gets hard and be grateful for the journey!
Anything else we can expect to see from The National Parks in the next year?
Brady Parks: Yes! We never stop, haha. Be on the lookout for more tunes, more shows and more surprises. Can’t wait!
With a clear passion for music and ability to tell a story through their songs, it is evident that The National Parks have a long road of success ahead of them. While we await the release of the second part of their album, there’s no denying that A Mix For The End Of The World – Part 1 will be our current go-to and we cannot wait to see what they do next.
Stream A Mix For The End Of The World – Part 1 here.
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