Described as “an old soul who’s still in his early 20s,” Parker Twomey is a country-folk songwriter who recently released his debut album “All This Life” on July 15. Singles from the album include “I’d Be Your Man” and the longing and upbeat Western, “Counting Down the Days.”
With his solo debut, “All This Life”, Twomey opens the doors to his coming-of-age experience, writing candidly about the romance, regret, and reflection that comes with a life largely spent on the move.
We had the chance to talk with Parker more about his journey and inspirations:
How did you get started in music?
The gift of music is in my blood through my family, so I took to it naturally when I was 10. My Grandma showed me some things on the piano, and my dad taught me my first few chords on the guitar. But it was songwriting that hooked my heart from the beginning. At first, music was a means that allowed me to express myself through lyrics and melody. I almost immediately fell in love with the instruments that supported my writing and wanted to master them. I taught myself through youtube and transcribed the music I wanted until I went to Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts where I studied guitar, music theory, and things of that nature for four years throughout high school.
Growing up, my dad and I always had a recording setup in the house. I’d write songs, and we’d record them and produce them together. He introduced me to most of the music that is the foundation of my taste. At that time, I’d record him playing the drums, and he’d record me playing the rest of the instruments. I developed my love for recording and producing early on with him. My dad, his friend Colin, and I made up my first band from 10-14 years old. We recorded and gigged around Dallas. I worked at Modern Electric Recording Studios in Dallas during high school. Beau Bedford, Jeff Saenz, and Jason Bert took me under their wing, furthering my engineering and producing education.
Who are some of your biggest musical inspirations? Which songs did you feel like showed these inspirations the most?
The first artist I really connected with was Elliott Smith, and to this day, he’s one of my favorites. I think all of his work is incredible, but I particularly took to his last album, “From A Basement On The Hill,” in the beginning. I remember listening to “Kings Crossing” for the first time, volume-up, driving through Dallas in the night with my dad. It made such an impression that I can still remember the details of the drive while the song was playing. That song hit me on a soul-level.
Jeff Tweedy and Ben Kweller were also big influences. I also listened to The Black Crowes and Ryan Adams a lot. I had a southern-rock chapter of life and have a special place in my soul for “Amorica,” “Cold Roses,” and “Gold.”
On a more lyrical front, Taylor Goldsmith of Dawes, Jason Isbell, and John Moreland were also huge influences. Their songs tell me they’re primarily writers at heart, and I’ve always felt that way about myself. I don’t think there’s a song on my album that especially reflects one of these inspirations. I do think you can hear them naturally within my songs and my sound.
Can you share the story behind one of your favorite songs on the album?
The album’s title track, “All This Life,” came from a dark time in my life. Mentally, I was not in a good headspace. My mother was recently diagnosed with incurable blood cancer, Nodal marginal zone lymphoma. She’s my best friend, and facing the reality of the situation was, and still is, stirring for me. I believe she will overcome this temporary hiccup despite what Western medicine claims.
Additionally, I was battling the internal demons many of us go through in our late teens and early twenties. Facing questions and conflicts within myself regarding religion, philosophy, purpose, and who I was, all while on the road with a rowdy country band — never staying in one place for very long externally and overstaying places internally. I probably had some temporary substance-induced paranoia. And then I’m sure depression and all that good stuff also factored into that time of my life.
I’m pretty sentimental in my nature, and I remember feeling deeply torn that my life was going by so fast before my eyes. I couldn’t even remember who I used to be or where I had been. I wanted to hold onto everything so closely, and the world and my memory rejected that for me. I know I’m young to say that; but I’ve always felt such a sense of urgency. The first day I got home from an eight-week tour, I sat at my desk, journaled for a few hours, and then wrote “All This Life.”
What are your hopes for your future career?
I always want to stay inspired and create art that fulfills me and is authentic to myself. I’ll never put myself in a box. I’m not driven by “fame”, but know I have a lot to offer to this world and hope my art will connect and impact the world in a positive way. But, I set a high bar for myself and want to play my songs for abundant crowds one day. I’d like to one day act in movies and TV shows. I plan to write books and screenplays. Maybe I’ll even have a fashion line. These goals we hold for ourselves are just facades for deeper desires at the end of the day; I’m just trusting the journey.
What can fans look forward to? Anything else you want our readers to know?
Shows are in the works! Keep up with me on the socials, and y’all won’t miss out on anything.
Cover photo Connor Key
Gracie Watt is an Editorial Intern at Texas Lifestyle Magazine and a junior at St. Edward’s University in Austin, studying Journalism. When she’s not writing, Watt enjoys singing, playing the guitar and doing volunteer work. @gracie.whatt