Gray Parsons was one of the first people I met when I moved to Austin in 2010. At the time he was playing Drums in a band called “The Dead Left”, spearheaded by Austin Songwriter, Neal Kassanoff. The first thing I noticed about Gray was his deep love for music, his pocket & feel, his sense of humor, and his unwavering dedication to music. Gray and I quickly became friends because we had similar interests, and I saw that I had a lot to learn from him as a musician and human.
Gray came to me with some songs that he had been recording on his Tascam 388 Tape Machine around 2016 (I think?). He had been demoing songs and was planning on recording a full-length album all analog, in mono. Gray tracked everything on this record himself and started to mix it on his 388. Being that my experience as a sound engineer came from a more digital background, I saw this as a great way to learn about the art of tape and analog mixing. We decided to dump all the 8 tracks of audio into the digital world and do a hybrid of digital/analog mixing. I had so much fun getting to work this way, that I’ve since bought my own Tascam 4 track cassette recorder, and have started to use hybrid mixing setups myself.
The album “Eternal Return” is a mix of 60’s Psychedelic, 70’s Rock, 80’s New Wave, and bits of Folks & Americana, all with the compositional range you might expect from a multi-instrumentalist such as himself. To me: these songs reflect upon a personal journey. Upon first listen, you will get an album with toe-tapping pop tunes, that are infectiously memorable, and deeply groovy. But as you listen harder you will find biblical, occult, philosophical, and humorous references in regards to what it means to be a living person living in a very peculiar modern world. You just have to listen for yourself.
I highly recommend this album to anyone, and can’t wait to see what Gray does next.