Van Dyke Parks to release brand-new album of semi-new songs, Songs Cycled, on Bella Union, just to remind all modern songwriters everywhere that they suck.

Van Dyke Parks to release brand-new album of semi-new songs, Songs Cycled, on Bella Union, just to remind all modern songwriters everywhere that they suck.

Hey, songwriters! Guess what? You’re all A) terrible at writing songs, and B) working too damn hard at it! (Seriously. I don’t even know what you were thinking on that last one: dominant-7 to tonic for the cadence? Yawn!) But luckily for the creativity-starved and ambition-sick listening public out there, Van Dyke Parks is just as amazing as he is lazy; and he’s about to drop some of the recycled nuggets he’s written on May 6 with the aptly-titled Songs Cycled. It’s coming out via Bella Union and, according to Pitchfork, will feature several original songs collected from his recent 7-inch series, as well as a few collaborations, covers, and re-recordings of old tunes (including “Hold Back Time”, a re-recording of a song from Orange Crate Art, his 1995 collaborative album with that one guy Brian Wilson, which you can check out below).

In Park’s grand tradition of classily re-appropriating content, here comes a bunch of the awesome bullshit that Parks himself had to say about Songs Cycled on the Bella Union site. I assume every word of it is cleverly recycled, cut, and pasted together from badass things he’s already said:

This album is released on Bella Union 45 years from my debut album Song Cycle (when I was but 24). In both cases, there’s a maverick on the loose, with a highly personal set of tunes and instrumentals. All of them reveal an iconoclast tilting at windmills, railing at tyrants, barking at masters of war, and celebrating a shameless commitment to the very definition of ‘Americana’. As I was in my brunette era, at age 70, I’m found looking through the glass darkly. These new songs show more than a hint of an eco-politic. In fact, there’s nothing more precious than the song-form to revolutionize popular thoughts and practices that need a jolt of shock therapy. Yet, songwriters must work with a leger demain. A light hand and heart can draw more approval than a heavy-handed scold. My first aim is to entertain the ear with beautiful sounds. I try to do that as an arranger. These pieces reveal my best effort.

Yup. In other words: “I’m good, and I don’t sweat it. Love, VDP.”

Songs Cycled tracklisting:

01. Dreaming of Paris (original)
02. Hold Back Time (re-recording of song from Orange Crate Art)
03. Sassafras (new recording, originally by Billy Edd Wheeler)
04. Black Gold (a fantasy on the sinking of The Prestige, off the coast of the Bay of Biscay, recorded in 2002)
05. Aquarium (cover of Saint-Saëns piece, recorded in 1971 with the Esso Trinidad Steel Band)
06. Money Is King (picks up where “Wall Street” ends, written with Growling Tiger, a.k.a. Trinidadian Calypso musician Neville Marcano)
07. Wall Street (original)
08. The Parting Hand (version of a Sacred Harp hymn from the 1800s)
09. The All Golden (a re-recording from Song Cycle)
10. Wedding in Madagascar (version of traditional folk song)
11. Missin’ Mississippi (original)
12. Amazing Graces (ft. The Van Dyke Parks Orchestra)

Upcoming Van Dyke Parks dates:

03.08.13 - Adelaide, Australia - Thebarton Theatre
03.30.13 - Santa Monica, CA - McCabe’s Guitar Shop
05.05.13 - London, UK - ATP I’ll Be Your Mirror

• Van Dyke Parks: http://www.vandykeparks.com
• Bella Union: http://bellaunion.com

Newsfeed