There is something very classic and natural that Parmy Dhillon is able to tap into each time he goes to the well of inspiration for his music; instantly, the listener is able to ease into his work, made to feel comfortable and at home amidst the folk and indie infused guitar, the warm vocals, and the age-old practice of making beautiful songs out of simple means. There are moments of tenderness and warmth, gently strummed guitars and sparse soundscapes, but there is also a desire to experiment with layers of sound, be it vocal reverb, choral effects, or use of alternative sounds.
His latest EP, “Mind Out Of Time: Volume 1”, if nothing else, is a testament to an artist with an incredible ear for song structure and simplicity, as well as atmosphere and emotion and for that, the listener will find themselves rewarded with each new song. On a grander scale, the EP may also be a bold direction that only adds size and scale to an already powerful performer.
Listening to Mind Out Of Time: Volume 1” – easily one of the best recordings of its type I’ve heard so far this year – you get the impression that underneath the rich, organic production technique is a master songwriter. This sensation reaches you right from the Dylan-ish introductory track, “Where Do We Start”.
Both, the single “Rain”, and “Sleepaway”, in keeping with their backdrops, are simple to the ear. The kind of simple presentation that leaves nothing for Parmy Dhillon to hide behind. He lets the nuances of his lyrics and musicianship speak for themselves; the results are deceptively straightforward but immense in their complexity. Parmy Dhillon is the sort of artist who reminds listeners that important music can be important without having to say so.
The gravity of Parmy’s work discards the layers of pretense that often mute otherwise well intended indie folk; his honesty leaves this recording in a state of raw vulnerability from start to finish. The music on “Time”, is a more serious form of whimsy; it’s extremely deep, very sincere and quite striking. That’s the best part of hearing this record for the first time; the arrangements go to unexpected and thrilling places.
The dynamics you hear on the bluesy “Don’t Let Them In”, could be evidence of Parmy Dhillon’s diverse musical ventures. It certainly lends itself to a completely exciting and gorgeous record. And you won’t want the song nor this EP to draw to a close because it is escapism at its finest.
“I Grew Up In a Country Town”, is more urgent and resonant, provoking a sense of harrowing introspection. “I used to walk for hours with my head facing down. And as I walked for hours, I wonder why I felt so down,” sings Parmy Dhillon.
“Valium” is even more fleshed out, with a driving momentum and gravelly soaring vocals from Parmy. “My only validation, is another prescription,” hollers Parmy, his voice intense and fierce. The sound is open and expansive, with lush layers of organic instrumentation and vocals creating a sense of sweeping sound.
The landscape of each song on this EP is different, but to start, there’s the strumming or picking of an acoustic guitar to launch and dominate the piece. Like many of the songwriting legends that he probably holds dear, Parmy Dhillon’s lyrics are vivid and deliberate. “Mind Out Of Time: Volume 1” is an absolutely essential listen if you’re into modern indie or alt-folk.