Wyatt Cropper Parks: Heartbreak Songs
This past spring, Wyatt Cropper Parks released Heartbreak Songs, his first full length solo album, containing 13 songs that he’s been working on for the past two years; an incredible, simple, and passionate effort. Keeping true to the album’s namesake, the songs feel personal and often emotional, covering issues of love and loss and everything in between, yet he carefully avoids becoming overly sentimental or depressing, creating instead an album that rides a fine line of reflection and entertainment.
The opening track, “Country Lovin’,” sets the mood for the album with its folksy, country strumming and vocal hooks, telling a story of recapturing the love of an old girlfriend. “Little Rain” is perhaps the most devastating song on the album, with the powerful refrain “but it aint all bad, and it aint all rough, if you live through this, hell you’ll be real tough,” followed by a layered vocal chorus that sends chills down your spine.
Even though the content of the album has been in the works for a good deal of time, Parks wisely chose a minimalist approach to this release, completing the recordings over the span of three days using just himself, a guitar and two microphones, effectively creating an atmosphere of intimacy akin to sitting around a campfire that would have been washed out from overproduction. The way Parks gets through to the listener is subtle, yet addictive; you’ll find yourself listening to this album many, many times.
nyone that knows the Bellingham hip-hop scene has, at one time or another, heard of the Zapnow Records’ supergroup Smoove Moves. This local trio of rappers blend rap and R&B to create a sexy style all their own and pay homage to all things that make rap music great like 40ozs, blunts, booties, and most importantly, stackin’ that paper. Their new album is a 27-song collection of heaters from over the years.
The album starts off with “Tryna Drink a 40oz,” a song that pays tribute to the beloved 40 ounce beverage that is malt liquor. This auto-tuned chorus is sure to get stuck in your head. Smoove Moves then slows it down for “Pop It, Put Your Mouth On It” (which is also a song about 40oz and blunts… hmm… we may be seeing a theme here). This song has a beautiful piano-laden background that lays the foundation for some amazing harmonies and is sure to be played in more than one bedroom across America. We take a break from the malt liquor love (sort of) on the track “Bank Account,” a spaced out slow jam dedicated to ballin’ and chasin’ paper.
There are too many hot tracks on the Smoove Moves Discography to list all the highlights, but just know that if you are a fan of R&B, auto-tune, and being a straight baller, then you will be blasting Smoove Moves on repeat.
For more information, see wyattparks.bandcamp.com.
Published in the September 2014 issue of What’s Up! Magazine