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"Parkdale" - James McLeod |Review

Parkdale, by Canadian artist James McLeod, is a stellar single. The song’s tune is very mellow. The track is a bit lighter sounding, and the tempo doesn’t drag.

This contrasts with its more melancholy lyrics. The track fits very nicely together and is coherent, even with this juxtaposition. The ambiance in this track really is lovely – it’s a mesmerizing blend of instrumentation. Of all the elements, the percussion fades away a bit, but not in a bad way. It works to really highlights the vocal elements while simultaneously providing a nice ambient backdrop for the track.

The main vocals are vulnerable and a little echoey. They stylistically work very well for the overall feel of the song and are very pleasing to listen to. In particular, the “time and time again” line stands out. The vocals seem to cut loose a little – they aren’t as measured. I enjoy the more restrained singing style as well, and there’s a good contrast between the two. Lyrically, Parkdale is very strong. Lines such as “nightmares in reverse” are cutting and clever. The background vocals are also very well done. Oftentimes, I feel like the balance between background and main vocals can be off, but on this track, both contribute in their own way. The balance is great; one doesn’t overshadow the other.

Towards the middle of the track is a twinkly piano solo. The piano carries on to the end of the track. The piano really stands out as a unique musical element. The outro is gradual, with instrumental elements fading away naturally. The entire track flows very naturally.

The main vocals remind me of Alec Benjamin — namely, the style or way of speaking. Some of the lyricism also seems reminiscent of him, such as water and ocean imagery.

Written by Fiona Irving-Beck

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