Oklahoma born and raised Parker Millsap is back. Now based in Nashville and nearly three years out from his most recent release, the esteemed singer-songwriter recently announced that his fifth studio album, Be Here Instead, will be available April 9th on his own Okrahoma Records and Thirty Tigers. “The Real Thing” is the first single off of the new project, and it’s Stephanie’s DJ Pick of the Week!
Produced by the famous John Agnello, “The Real Thing” builds on Millsap’s acoustic talent by embracing electronic instruments and a bigger lineup (including guest vocals from Nashville singer Erin Rae). The upcoming album will follow suit— the entire thing was recorded live with his band. Millsap grew up on blues and folk, and their influence couldn’t be more apparent in his music. “The Real Thing” began as a catchy and oddly tuned guitar figure, and quickly took on a lyrical life of its own. “At first it was about being on the road and missing my wife, then it was about my general distaste for internet communication, and then the pandemic hit, and it became about having to depend on that type of communication and being starved for physical closeness,” the artist told American Songwriter.
And I can’t stand the poor connection
Can’t hold your hand through the screen
I don’t want your reflection
I just want the real thing“The Real Thing”
The song’s corresponding music video tackles the big question: what is real connection? Directed by Jacq Justice, the video shows Millsap playing his guitar and trapped inside phone, laptop, and television screens as viewers watch on apathetically. Edited in the style of an infomercial, Millsap begs for his freedom in exchange for the reasonable price of $39.99 and a call to 1-800-HELP-ME. When he’s finally saved, it’s revealed that the viewers had been watching videos of themselves all along. It’s a somewhat cynical take on the age of the internet, but one that’s sure to resonate with listeners following the near year we’ve spent in isolation due to the coronavirus pandemic. Longing for face to face interaction has certainly never been more relatable.
Be sure to tune into 100.1 FM or lightning100.com to hear “The Real Thing” by Parker Millsap featured as Stephanie’s DJ Pick of the Week. Be sure to let us know your thoughts! Tweet at us with #L100DJPick and share your take on the track.