At first listen, it's easy to mistake Glowing House's debut as a vehicle for Jess Parsons, the outfit's lead vocalist and pianist/guitarist. But the more the sumptuous and heartfelt songs sink in, the more the whole project feels like a real band. And a good band. Sidestepping the trend of precious, quirky chanteuses like Ingrid Michaelson, Parsons's songs are soulful, impeccably arranged, yet never full of shit; the weight of her tender frustration is palpable. Of course, the gracious democracy of the group means that guitarist Steve Varney takes the occasional lead vocal — and while his voice has a depth all its own, it basically serves as a placeholder until Parsons retakes the spotlight. It may be inevitable that Parsons winds up a solo artist, but for now, The Annual Demise serves as a worthy conduit for her emerging greatness.
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