Cranbrook, British Columbia’s Clayton Parsons elegantly puts his music on an aural display with quality lyrics, skillful instrumental playing, genuine emotion, and the mixing and mastering that’s as smooth as laminated paper. His debut album, Little Things, gives off the kind of impression that he has years of experience backed behind him to create an ten-track acoustic folk album that is pleasurable to listen to.
The first track “Harvey Hill” starts off smoothly and quietly, gently introducing the listener to the world of Clayton Parsons. There’s something about the reverb on Clayton’s vocals mixed at the right levels, supported by simple guitar strums and the pads that creates a calming cinematic vibe for the listener to sink in and relax. The chorus also introduces Joelle Winkel, who performs the backing vocals for Clayton. Her vocals doesn’t sound like they’re out of place at all, as her performance greatly complements Clayton’s overall sound and style. This vibe carries over to the second track, “Know My Name,” with a chorus that is easy for listeners to pick up the repeating lyrics and sing along with.
Things pick up with the third track, “Hope You Know,” with the inclusion of a banjo that complements the faster tempo. “Little Things” has an intimate feel with an emphasized beat and a guitar solo near the end to spice the song up even further. “Racing For Home” delivers a strong vocal performance between Clayton and Joelle, while September Sundays allows for a quiet and contemplative mood for a lazy Sunday afternoon. The dominance of the electric guitar and a smooth beat in the seventh track, “Forty Miles,” emits a chilling vibe perfect for a late-night lounge session. Alternatively, “Truth and Lies” and “On Your Sleeve” offers a more peaceful sound, in case you want to take it outside and lie down to watch the stars. The closing track, “With You,” hears the inclusion of drums for a catchy beat all the way throughout.
Overall, Clayton Parsons has a great debut album. The ten-track album sets a great foundation for Clayton to build on for future releases. The only thing I wish for with Clayton Parsons’ debut album is more variety in sound between the music. With that note aside, his lyrical writing is fantastic, the instrumental is of top quality, and he has a great partnership with his co-vocalist Joelle Winkel, whom both establish a genuine connection with the listener with every song.