I’ve had a musical crush on Parson James since I first heard his soulful vocals in “Stole The Show,” shimmering over KYGO’s cascading electronic beats, so when I learned that he was signed as a SOLO artist to RCA Records, I understandably got pretty excited. His debut single, “Sinner Like You,” out now (RCA Records) is an energetic, toe-tapping, soul-driven pop stomper that practically dares the listener NOT to get up out of their seat and throw his or her hands up in the air. Check out “Sinner Like You” below:
Sometimes you hear a voice that just hits you in the heart, and for me Parson James has one of those voices. There’s a certain sadness that comes through in his voice no matter what genre he’s singing—dance, R&B, soul. While the song and lyrics obviously play a big role, James’ own emotions seem to be very much a part of each song’s story, practically oozing out of every line. Maybe it’s the raw sense of urgency that comes through in his tone, maybe it’s his powerful delivery—I don’t know, something about his voice affects me in the best way possible. It’s one of those songs you’ll have on repeat for 30 minutes without even realizing it.
“Sinner Like You” was written by Parson and produced by Elof Loelv (Rihanna, Mikky Ekko) from Sweden (of COURSE he’s from Sweden). According to the press release, the lyrics in the song “addresses the duality of human nature and tells the story of a young man coming out to his mother“—POWERFUL STUFF and so timely, given how much gay rights, and specifically gay marriage has been in the news of late. In this, very much, autobiographical song, Parson questions “the stark contradictions in the religious south, and what it really means to ‘sin’ in the modern world,” which echoes questions and experiences in his own upbringing as a bi-racial man raised in the south.
Brooklyn-based at the moment, Parson James is currently hard at work on his debut album, which will feature more of his self-described “conflicted-pop-gospel” stylings as well as, no doubt a few surprises. Stay tuned for more on this INCREDIBLE budding new talent, including some expected tour dates later this year.