Joe Parsons debuts with “Pilot”
Musician and professional comedian, Joe Parsons has released his ‘coming out track’, ”Pilot”, taken from his upcoming debut self-titled album. Originally from Weston-super-Mare in Somerset, now based in London, Joe has been playing piano and making music since the tender age of five. With a grounding in jazz piano and a diet of alternative music during his teens, songwriting is in his blood.
He has always been deeply inspiredby a number of genres, most prominently the local West Country delicacy of trip-hop. Whilst he covers the important subject matter of homosexuality throughout the album, Joe doesn’t like to take himself too seriously. He is a professional comedian, after all. “Pilot”’, as with the rest of the album, is slightly sarcastic and humorous, with a hard hit of reality.
Musically, it’s a landscape of sprawling dream-like synths, disjointed drums and blunt lyricism, presented with delicate harmonies, taking inspiration from dream pop, shoegaze, trip-hop and jazz genres. Think Sufjan Stevens meets SigurRos. On October 13th, 2020 – on his 30th birthday – Joe will release his debut self-titled album to the world. This album looks at the last decade visiting key moments of his life since coming out. It gives an honest account of alienation through homosexuality, unrealistic expectation of success, the breakdown of relationships, repression of masculinity, self-doubt, and anxieties around body image.
It’s an ode to what it was to be a gay man growing up in the 90s and early 00’s. “Pilot” is the first single taken from the album and is the beginning of Joe’s story. Speaking about the track, Joe explains, “This song recounts the moment I first told someone that I was gay. They were really intuitive and knew I wasn’t being myself. That began the process of me coming out to friends and family. But even when coming out, you still dilute how difficult it was to protect yourself and others. It takes years to really understand that damage. It felt like this was the perfect debut single to introduce myself and what the album is about”.
The video, which accompanies the release, focuses on vulnerability, which for Joe, was going topless, as he explains “I’ve always had a real body image issue and have always hated being topless anywhere in public. I’d wear a jumper in a swimming pool if I could”. It also portrays the loneliness he felt being closeted, followed by a release of revealing the truth, which is illustrated from a monochrome setting to an explosion of rainbow colours. But this is just the start of the journey, as the visuals cut back to the shot of loneliness, referencing the long and emotional road ahead. Mastered at Abbey Road by Andrew Walter (David Bowie, The Who, Coldplay, Radiohead), it showcases the atmospheric melodies and vast soundscapes that the album presents.