“Melancholy Way” by Parker is an indie rock lover’s dream. It’s just as heavy as it is sentimental. It’s just as retro as it is modern. It’s overall incredibly melodic and musical, brimming with motifs, textures, and memorable lyrics. Sometimes a song is just so inexplicably good you don’t need to think too hard about it–you just add it to all your playlists and call it a day. “Melancholy Way” is a prime example of this effect.
The intro sports a few high-energy, full-band stops, topped by a legato guitar riff. The drums ride the snare and crash cymbal through to the verse, which dwindles down to mostly acoustic. “Some things change / What’d you expect?” Parker utters a casually cool melody, displaying his warm, conversational tone with nonchalance. His vocals are distorted, giving them a bit of an edge. As electric guitar piles back in for the pre-chorus, we get to hear him expand his range, sliding to a higher register and building a bit of tension for the chorus. Harmonies envelop the sound, forming gloriously non-diatonic, satisfying cadences as we approach the hook: “You took my breath away / Now I walk alone down Melancholy Way.” A syncopated set of hits send us into a brief interlude, then another verse.
Stick around for some repetitions of old sections (peppered with fresh changes and techniques), and some brand-new moments as well (namely, a vibrant guitar solo). Parker really takes traditional song form and just milks it, keeping just enough the same throughout but turning as much as he can on its head. We’re left not only engaged but totally invested. If you know what’s good for you, you’ll save this song immediately. It’s a veritable banger.
Written by Alyce Lindberg