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You can cover a lot of ground in 88 seconds. But covering ground is what got Brian E. King to this point in the first place.
The songwriter behind Boston power-pop project Parks is gearing up for the band’s self-titled full-length debut, which hits October 11 with a release party that night at The Sinclair in Cambridge, and setting the tone is a turbo-charged bottle rocket of a tune called “Headache.” It clocks in at just under 90 seconds, and while short-lived headaches are often the best kind, this one is quite a tease for the LP — even if it was inspired by dire circumstances.
“I was in the middle of a break up,” King says, “and we had just gotten in a fight, so I went out for a bike ride at two in the morning to clear my head.” The accident left him with a concussion, a crushed helmet, and a trip to the emergency room. “If I didn’t have a helmet on, I probably would’ve died.”
That kind of grim circumstance fills the sounds on Parks’ new record; its dark tones and inspirations provide a lyrical juxtaposition with King’s usually sunny and upbeat compositions. But King went through the ringer over the past five years or so in perfecting the Parks sound — from heavy shit like a personal cancer scare, deaths in his family, and the aforementioned bike accident, to annoyances like band line-up chances and the usual hiccups and roadblocks that cloud our daily lives in 2018.
“Making this album coincided with worst time in my life,” King admits. “My mom died. The band lineup was in flux. My girlfriend, also my bandmate and best friend, and I broke up. I got diagnosed with stage-zero stomach cancer. It was a complete roller coaster… But I couldn’t be happier with this record.”
And our understanding of this deeply personal record all starts with a “Headache.”
Listen to the track below, and join Parks at The Sinclair next month when they’re set the LP free alongside performances by Hallelujah The Hills, Photocomfort, and Future Teens for a spectacular all-ages and homegrown lineup.