With Van Dyke Parks’ new Songs Cycled (Bella Union), the renowned composer, arranger and vocalist (in that order), not only releases his first album of originals since 1995’s Orange Crate Art (with Brian Wilson singing), but lends his usually complex creations a renewed sense of simplicity. The thoughts may be determinedly complicated and touched by the soul of social protest, but Parks’ music is deliciously direct, while remaining as elegant as anything he’s done for himself (à la 1968’s chamber-pop initiator Song Cycle) or others (the Beach Boys and Rufus Wainwright amongst them). Parks will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our brand new feature with him.
Parks: This group (named for Guatamala’s national bird) is torn from the heart of East L.A. I connect to them, and their beat, as I live just east of what’s East L. A. They cover Spanish to Spanglish (the latter, a lingo invented in the USA). It’s multi-cultural romance. ¡Realidad muy ritmico! Seductive, forgiving and replenishing us with what slips past our futile SoCal border-guard. Buy into this Latino sense-of-self or Yankee Dog, you die. Options: Live action, download or record shelf.
Video after the jump.