Today Torched Magazine is honored to introduce you to Parabola West, an American-born New Zealand-based artist, with a short interview along with her new single and video for ‘Calling Your Name’. The video was inspired by the deep woods of New Zealand’s forested landscape, fit for the Hobbit or Lord of the Rings. It was directed by Chris Lane for Bigkid Productions and art direction by Felicity Cawood’s.
“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 colour,” says Parabola West.
Parabola West is the artist persona of Amy Tucker West. Drawing inspiration from Celtic and Nordic folk roots, electronica, and organic sounds, her music is a lush soundscape of layered melodies.
What are you listening to right now?
I’m down a rabbit hole with Scandinavian Folk and Synthpop bands at the moment. I’ve just ordered the Sagnamadr album by Folket Bortafor Nordavinden (Norse Folk) so I’m nerding out to whatever I can find online until it arrives.
What was the first LP/tape/CD you remember owning?
The first cassette I ever owned was gifted with a Barbie & The Rockers doll, which featured the forward-thinking anthems Dressin’ Up and Stretchin’ It.
The first cassette I ever intentionally purchased was Hack by Information Society.
Vinyl or CD/Digital?
I feel like the right answer with the cool kids is vinyl, but realistically I don’t have a working record or CD player in my life so I listen to music digitally. I still buy CDs, though, just to have the physical thing with lyrics and pictures and to support the bands.
What are your favourite bands?
I always return to Depeche Mode, Kate Bush, New Order, and Loreena McKennitt.
Why do you live where you do?
I came to New Zealand in 2003 and decided I never wanted to leave. I was raised by busy cities and I longed for open, green space.
What is your favourite journey?
When a story or piece of music takes me into a completely new world.
What’s your idea of a perfect Sunday?
Sleeping late, having brunch in a café, and then coming home to light candles and turn up the music for an afternoon of costume crafting.
What essentials do you take on a plane or tour bus?
Eye drops, water, lavender oil, and cleansing wipes.
What is your dream vacation if money was no object?
A heated tour of the best spots to see the Northern Lights.
What do you do with 4 hours to yourself in a new city?
Walk around, find a good coffee, window shop and people watch.
Photo by Vanessa Wood
What inspired you to take up music?
I can’t remember a time when the urge wasn’t there. I remember hearing Pachabel’s Canon when I was about 7 and begging for violin lessons because it moved me so deeply. I’ve never stopped chasing that feeling.
What was your most memorable day job?
Technical Recruitment. The nerds are my people.
What advice should you have taken but didn’t?
Put your shoes back on before using the airplane toilet.
What should everyone shut up about?
Nothing. Speak up, everyone.
Who’s your ideal dinner guest, living or dead, and what the menu be?
My mother. She passed away when I was a teenager. I’d take her out to a fancy restaurant because she was one of those people who had to customize everything on the menu.
Who is your favourite hero of fiction?
Antiope (as played by Robin Wright), General of the Amazonian army.
What was the best live gig or music festival you attended (as a fan or artist)?
Black Eyed Peas put on a great show in NZ. The vibe was excellent and everyone danced like free spirits for hours.
What are your “must” read magazines, news, websites, blogs?
I don’t really have any. I seek out information on topics of interest as they arise.
Name something you consider a mind-altering work of art.
‘Crucifixion’ by Salvador Dali
What does the next 6 months look like for you?
Recording, writing, crafting, and performing.
Which musician rule do you agree with? Always meet your heroes or never meet your heroes?
Always meet your heroes, unless they’re dead. If they’re dead, try to avoid meeting them.