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Parabola West – Photo Credit: Kelly Hill
Parabola West (a.k.a. singer-songwriter Amy Tucker West) may be based in New Zealand today, but she is American. Her music may find its roots in Celtic and Norse folk, but it is as equally connected to modern instrumentation and easily floats between sub-genres such as synth pop, electronica, and neo-folk.
West has just released her new single “Calling Your Name” and on it she reveals a lush soundscape of layered melodies. Her music sits comfortably in the same territory as Aurora, Eivør, CHVRCHES, Lu Flur, Agnes Obel, Loreena McKennitt, Sjón, and even Bat For Lashes. With such immense talent, it was just a matter of time before Parabola West’s music would reach American shores. Her richly theatrical delivery and uncanny knack for blending genres means that she is able to craft a musical and aesthetic environment within her music that is both fantastical and invigorating.
This new release follows her 2017 EP Purity of Weakness and lead single “Fire”, which was released both digitally and on CD. Her debut EP Did You Hear? was released in 2014. Her music is often composed on piano and is laced with hints of Celtic and Scandinavian influences, not to mention loads of fantasy.
Originally from Springfield, MA (near Boston) and currently based in Raglan, New Zealand, West began songwriting on piano as a teenager. At age 21, she was recruited into the London-based trip-hop band Dreamfield during their recording sessions in Boston. With two critically acclaimed releases to their credit, the band split in 2003 and West relocated to New Zealand.
The self-confessed “math and science nerd” then took a 10-year break from the music industry to work in IT and engineering recruitment, returning to her musical roots in 2013 as solo artist Parabola West.
“I came to a point where I needed to fully immerse myself again in the creative,” says Amy Tucker West. To achieve that she took the extreme step of moving completely off-the-grid to a rural spot on New Zealand’s rugged West Coast. West has since released two successful EPs and continues to call Raglan home.
““Calling Your Name” expresses the torment of loving someone who has become emotionally numb. Ask anyone on a significant dose of anti-depressants and they’ll tell you about the numbing – that slow, subtle nothingness that keeps life ticking over without incident but turns down all the color,” says West.
“The lyrics “you are a wilderness frozen from me” kind of sum up the bad times, when you just can’t reach the heart until the ice melts.”
This song was recorded at 432Hz instead of the standard 440Hz due to West’s experimentation with the healing frequencies in her music.
As of December 6th, “Calling Your Name” will be released via online stores and streaming platforms, such as Spotify. In the meantime, releases from her back catalog are now available via Bandcamp
Written and performed by Amy Tucker West
Produced by Andrew Newth, Scott Newth & Parabola West
Mixed by Andrew Newth and Scott Newth
Recorded in The Porch recording studio in Hamilton and various home studios
Mastered by Oliver Harmer at The Lab recording studio in Auckland
Main vocals and keys by Parabola West
Backing vocals by David West
Flute by Alexandra Slap
Video produced & directed by Chris Lane of Bigkid Productions
Art director: Felicity Cawood
The latest video released by Parabola West is “Fire”, lifted from her Purity of Weakness EP: