Miracle Parade – Hark!… and other lost transmissions

January 01, 1970

(Little Record Company)




Christopher Pappas might be primarily known in tastemaker
circles as the frontman for the sorely underrated Boston-based indie rock band
The Everyday Visuals, not to mention the musical director of the award-winning
theatrical production Pope! An Epic
, which was all the rage at the New York International Fringe
Festival last year. But the New Hampshire-born songwriter/multi-instrumentalist
begins a new chapter of his decade-and-a-half-long career with Miracle Parade, a
rustic one-man project whose sound echoes the heady harmonies that billowed
from California’s Laurel Canyon
in the days when Judee Sill, Gene Clark and David Crosby held court in the
hallowed halls of the Hollywood Hills. After sending a cache of homemade demos
to Little Record Company, the label helmed by Rilo Kiley bassist Pierre De
Reeder, Pappas’ Parade was quickly signed aboard the budding imprint. The
musician subsequently moved to the inspirational heart of his new sonic muse, Los Angeles, to record
this exquisite debut album with De Reeder behind the engineering desk.


What came out of these sessions is 11 tracks of shimmering
rural beauty that showcases Pappas’ imaginative storytelling prowess with a
sincerity that can be heard clearly on tracks like electrically enhanced “The
Dying Physicist”, a song which could be construed as a more somber, melancholy
spin on the life of Back To The Future’s Dr.
Emmett Brown if he wound up going back to 1885 on purpose, as well as “Change
of Heart”, a tune that appears as if it could have been lifted from a lost reel
of the first Fleetwood Mac album with Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks.  And how could one speak of Hark! … 
and other lost transmissions
without acknowledging the presence of
its most beguiling track, “Regarding the Haunting at 16 Fairfield”, a tune that
may or may not be about the
presence of ghosts at the notorious Connecticut mental institution
, but
whose lucid melodies split the difference between Elliott Smith’s Either/Or and Simon & Garfunkel’s Bookends in spite of its disturbing
lyrical origins.  


Hark! is an album
whose soul runs as deep as the sap that flows through the Douglas Firs
permeating the landscape of its audible backdrop and aerated by weighty odes of
sorrow that are kinetically buoyed by a remarkable sense of depth and grace.


Tooth”, “Son Son (Son)”, “Regarding the Haunting at 16 Fairfield”,
“The Dying Physicist”, “Change of Heart” RON

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