Parker Millsap didn’t know not to sing like this. Listening to old albums as a kid alone in his room, he didn’t realize howling like a Delta blues ghost readying the world for rock-and-roll isn’t a how skinny white boy from Purcell, Oklahoma usually sounds.
“I was listening to records from the 20s and 40s, and the voices that came out were otherworldly,” Millsap says. “I was really attracted to that. At the same time, I grew up doing congregational singing in church––you know, everybody stands up, grabs a hymnal, turns to number 162, and sings ‘I’ll Fly Away’ at the top of their lungs. I learned to sing in that context, where nobody’s listening to you. We are all just singing.”
People not listening to Millsap could only last so long––not just because the arresting power of his voice cuts through any crowd, but also because the 22 year-old is always reaching for something worth saying.
New album The Very Last Day (Okrahoma Records/Thirty Tigers) proves an ideal vehicle for Millsap’s message, delivered via gospel-tinged rock-and-roll poetry. In the midst of a world so fond of condemnation as entertainment, Millsap offers open-armed love of people and their stories. Whether he’s singing from the perspective of a young gay man longing for his evangelical father’s acceptance, or as the King of the Underworld wild with passion, his character-driven songs mine deep wells of joy and despair to create gut-punching narratives that are sometimes hellish, sometimes heavenly, and always human.
SUPERIOR SIREN (SOLO)
Superior Siren is lead by singer-songwriter and guitarist Laura Sellner. Since debuting in 2012, the musician has continued to captivate audiences. In 2015 Sellner joined forces with cellist Rachel Gobin, bassist Nyssa Krause, and drummer Emma Deaner to craft a dark and raw folk sound. The band has recently recorded the debut full-length Superior Siren album, with a release planned for the summer of 2017.