ALBUM: Tess Parks & Anton Newcombe ’I Declare Nothing’


I Declare Nothing is a compelling invitation into a haunting world of love, loss and humanity.

‘Wehmut’ sets the tone of the album perfectly. While Tess sings “your world is an ugly place”, the duo’s impressionistic instrumental dialect speaks in tongues that are heartbreaking and romantic in the face of greater demons. Such a feat is barely touched on by the majority of current artists, and yet between them, Parks and Newcombe manage to delve deeper into the human psyche than most.

The record as a whole feels heavy in reflective transportation (and that is purely from a listener’s perspective). Cutting through human nature’s thick, thorny wilderness of emotive layers, ‘Cocaine Cat’ leaves the impression of a young voice being wise before it’s time, an open mind flooding with the existence of the still sense of hope amongst scenes of desperation.

Other standout songs such as ‘Mama’, ‘Gone’ and the recent release ’German Tangerine’ act as glimpses into a bigger picture, an unnerving discovery full of wonder and questions. Of course, all albums are re-inventions of experiences or thoughts on some level, but rarely do they evoke such retellings in raw and mesmerising ways as I Declare Nothing.

It would be easy to criticise the prevailing sound of this body of work as being immersed under the influence of The Brian Jonestown Massacre’s previous output. However, I would stand against this “criticism”, stating it as being particularly lazy and unneccesarily dismissive – this album is far from a selection of recordings of Anton Newcombe with Tess Parks. Tess’ presence is dynamic and complimentary to Anton’s imprint, and we can only hope for further explorations into their respective creative minds. ‘I Declare Nothing’ is already great in it’s essence, but there is a lingering feeling that greater things could – and will – come of this new and distinct collaboration.

I Declare Nothing is out now via A Recordings.

Daisy Taplin