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The Parson Red Heads; Photo Credit: Robbie Auspurger
Today, December 1st, Fluff and Gravy Records is releasing a new single from The Parson Red Heads, a power-pop band from Eugene, Oregon that formed back in 2004. “It’s Hard For Me To Say”, which The Big Takeover premieres here, will be included as one of two bonus tracks on an expanded edition of the act’s album Blurred Harmony, which will be released in full on December 8th.
Blurred Harmony is an amalgam of the overdriven jangle of Teenage Fanclub and Big Star power-pop, the skewed psychedelics of the Paisley Underground, the bittersweet energy of New Zealand’s ‘Dunedin Sound’ movement, and the muted twang of Cosmic Americana, all crammed into 44 minutes. It is an album that displays what The Parson Red Heads learned and internalized over the past 13 years as an active band, constantly growing, shifting, and evolving. It is an album that isn’t just about the past, looking back over the band members’ lives, relationships, and experiences: it is an album driven and created by all of those relationships, those experiences, and it wouldn’t exist without them.
Band member Evan Way explains, “A version of “It’s Hard For Me To Say” was originally recorded in December 2015, for inclusion on You Are The Cosmos’ legendary 12-string guitar compilation record “Twelve String High”. After we sat with the finished track for awhile, and as we began to record Blurred Harmony, we felt like we could do a re-recording of the song that would fit more with the feel of the album. It ended up not making the final cut – who knows, maybe it’s because we were already too familiar with it, maybe the extra months of the songs recorded existence made it feel less fresh to our ears. But we really love this version – the rhythm section is tighter and more driving, the tambourine and Conrad 12-string electric channels the Byrds through a warped lens, and the three layers of acoustic guitar shimmer just right. Plus, Raymond added some gorgeous pedal steel, and our friend Michael Blake (who plays keys on the rest of the album, as well) added a wall of Mellotron and Wurlitzer – though the actual arrangement of the song doesn’t really stray from the original recording, the final vibe is quite different.”