Photo by Nicole Ens
Parkland is a place of contrast and a place of adaptation. With their debut self-titled album, written and pieced together inside the heads of six musicians across the Canadian prairies, Parkland negotiates the space between personal discovery and collaborative writing. The self-titled debut album was released Nov 4, 2022.
North of the Border
5th and Munroe
Written by Will Quiring
Performers: Jeffrey Romanyk, Janelle Moskalyk, Jerms Olson, Steve Schneider, Ian Cameron
Produced and Mixed by Will Quiring
Mastered by Harris Newman
Parkland, as a band and an album and an ecosystem, is about interrelation. Lyrically straight-forward, the songs arc through the relationships that are rooted to specific places (North of the Border, Abby, 5th and Munroe, Ohio, Alice Lake) but are natural as if they could be simultaneously everywhere else all at once. The band rises to give the lyrics an approving nod with understated precision and depth, competing with and supporting the words like a storm that is meant to both replenish the soil and shake the leaves off the trees.
Growing with and into connection with someone, while at the same time beginning to loath the activities that used to give energy and hope, is the struggle and contrast in the lyrics that make Parkland noticeable. Window-rattling realities that call for a life reassessment and affirmation are laid bare in songs like Trainwreck, Melee, and Good Stuff. Quiring is learning from the words as the words fall on the page, making realizations after the fact. Like no one would know what they meant until the band interpreted them with keyboard pedals and pedal steel and steel-smooth vocals.
When Parkland ends you know you're in a different place than when you started. Not in your girlfriend’s parents’ basement anymore. You look up and you're in the forest or you're on the prairie. In that way, Parkland is a place and an album of genuine self-discovery, which thrives when surrounded by people you love and a community that brings out your best. This is the ethos of Parkland, and how the debut album feels new yet familiar, relaxed yet purposeful all at the same time.