If you went to a party with British newcomer Stevie Parker, you would not find her at the center of the dance floor, or even chatting with strangers at the bar. Instead, you might spot the 24-year-old leaning against a wall on the periphery of the room, her bleach-blonde hair pulled back with stray strands framing her face, scanning the scene with bright green eyes. You’d want to approach her—and when you did, she wouldn’t shrink. She’d meet you halfway, hand extended, and introduce herself with a shy yet self-assured smile. In life, Parker is both a keen observer and an active participant, moving through the world with a quiet charisma. Musically, she’s the same way—and her debut album, The Cure, is the perfect introduction.
Sonically, The Cure stands out because of Parker’s raw talent: the 24-year-old’s smoky vocals (at times raspy, at times quite delicate) never fail to paint an evocative picture—of lost love, of longing, of the melancholic beauty of just living. Production-wise, pulsing synths (think: The xx) provide an atmospheric yet sleek backdrop. Under the guidance of her mentor, Rough Trade Records co-owner Jeannette Lee, Parker teamed up with Grammy Award-winning writer-producer Jimmy Hogarth for the majority of the LP, as well as producer David Wrench (The xx’s I See You, FKA Twigs, Caribou, Floating Points); Warpaint’s Stella Mozgawa and Seb Rochford of Polar Bear also contributed drums.