Introducing: Fletcher Coulee
Luc Parker has been a member of the local music scene for many years as a contributor to bands such as Your Loving Tiger, The Goddamn Doo Wop Band, Chickadee Mountain Martyrs, Dentist, and Omega Defender. This year he decided to venture out on his own for the first time and record his solo debut Escape From Nice Island under the name Fletcher Coulee. In his own words these songs “helped keep his brain together when most everything around him was falling apart,” which is starting to become a common theme with regards to records produced during the pandemic. It’s been a tough year for all and artists are processing it in a way that is natural to them: through art.
Escape From Nice Island is an intriguing mix of rough-around-the-edges Americana that draws from a number of hard luck traditions, from outlaw country to the blues. There is a considerable amount of color there in between as well. “For The Birds,” is an instrumental track that sounds a bit like a drum machine accompanied by guitar, synth, and mandolin. It’s a standout track both in terms of its quality as well as the fact that it sounds totally different from everything else on the album. The shade of Tom Waits also shows up a bit in the growl of tunes like “Not Precious” (“Xmas Card From A Booker In Mpls” is also a play on a Waits title). Though for the most part the ragged country/blues rock theme of the record is fairly consistent, it just goes to show how much variety Parker manages to squeeze into the margins.
You can stream/purchase Escape From Nice Island below and I recommend you do. It’s a standout record in a year that has seen a lot of great art that has resulted from a terrible time. Hopefully both Parker as well as the listener can gain a little catharsis from what’s gone into making it.