Richard Reed Parry, most well-known as the versatile, multi-instrumentalist of art rock band Arcade Fire, will be releasing his next solo record, Quiet River of Dust, Vol. 1 this fall on ANTI- Records. It's been timed to drop on the autumn equinox — September 21, when the sun will shine directly on the equator, and daytime and nighttime will be equal lengths of time. The second volume will follow, dropping on the spring equinox in 2019.
Today Parry shares "Song of Wood," the latest single from Vol. 1. It's a lush and verdant composition filled with buzzing cicadas, plucky guitar, and his airy voice flowing like a breeze through the treetops. Folksy and alive, the single fits squarely in line with Vol. 1's inspiration: the forests in Japan. In a press release, Parry explains that the idea behind the Quiet River of Dust project was born after his first tour in the country in 2008, where he allegedly encountered ghostly voices in the forests, and "the biggest silence you've ever heard." Drawing on that overabundance of space, "Song of Wood" feels simultaneously unconfined, and richly inhabited.
“'Song Of Wood' started in Montreal on my porch in the rain, with a little loop from an iPhone 4 synthesizer app that doesn’t seem to exist anymore," Perry writes of the song via email. "I started writing something that I thought was going to be a folk-style “riddle” song: ‘Gave my love a cherry that had no stone / Gave my love a chicken that had no bone’ but it turned into something else. I finished it in upstate New York when my friend Caroline Shaw sang a bunch of very magical layers of vocals. There’s a quiet moment close to the end that I really like, when you can hear a lot of cicadas that I recorded in a forest in Kyoto, Japan, with Andrew Barr gently playing pieces of driftwood.” Listen above.
Thumbnail image by Joe Barker.