Here's What to Expect From Parson James' Temple EP
Let’s take a ride on the imagination train, shall we?
If you will, please imagine yourself in South Carolina on an early Sunday morning. You have on your Sunday best and you’re slightly tired, but remember -- you’re never too tired to praise. You’re now at the church and you walk in the small, yet fabulously decorated building, you walk through say your hellos to the fellow congregants and take a seat in one of the middle rows. Soon the pastor and choir arrive on the stage and the pastor begins his impassioned sermon at the pulpit. The choir echoes the last word of every sentence and soon the pastor breaks into a song, the choir follows through, and before you know it you’re swept up in a sanctified trance.
Now, put this moment on pause and join me in another space.
It’s a Friday night in some big city and you and your friend have two tickets to a pop concert – whose concert it is doesn’t really matter but for the sake of massaging the imagination, lets say it’s Britney Spears. Britney is putting on an amazing show – there’s lights, action, a gazillion dancers and of course the pop princess herself, who is seductively moving and slithering across the stage. The energy is at a fever pitch as you notice that everyone around you is either screaming lyrics at the top of their lungs or emphatically nodding their head to the tempo of the music.
If you can, keep the Britney concert going and press play on the church scenery. It is in the mixture of these two scenes that Parson James newest EP Temple finds itself.
It’s a no-brainer that the EP is entitled Temple as much of its musical arrangements and lyrical content deal with the religious or at least the church. From “Sinner Like You” to “Slow Dance With the Devil” James is clearly enraptured by the church’s imagery and iconography as a place of contradictions: a place that simultaneously worships and condemns. As a biracial, southern gay man, James is at the crossroads of conflicting identities that is exposed in this brief, yet intense EP. Temple is filled with organs, keys, and drums and James’ impassioned, almost urgent delivery belies his background in the church choir. It’s not too much church, however, as you are greeted by the familiar inflections and maneuvers of the pop world. James artfully combines the two worlds revealing the makeup of his sound and his being. So what to expect from Parson James’ EP Temple? Gospel infused pop with big vocals and intriguing lyrics.