The London-based psych rocker Tess Parks has some great song titles. Her upcoming And Those Who Were Seen Dancing has already yielded the singles “Happy Birthday Forever” and “Brexit At Tiffany’s,” and today she adds “Do You Pray?” It’s a swirling storm of a song built around a heavy, bluesy classic rock groove that will likely appeal to fans of Parks’ longtime collaborator Anton Newcombe. “We went dancing all of last year,” Parks rasps under her breath, while also interpolating a couple traditionals you may recognize.
Parks shared a statement on the song:
My friend Annie just asked me one day out of the blue, “Do you pray?”, and I thought, “Wow, yes I love that and yes I do, every day.” The song is a mix of two traditionals: “My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean” and “When The Saints Go Marching In.” This is one of a few songs on the album where my dad can be heard playing my grandfather’s old piano.
In the “Do You Pray?” video, director Gsus Lopez filmed dancer Mark Wagner spinning in a long, flowing skirt in London. Here’s Parks with more on that:
Mark Wagner is seen whirling like a dervish, a sacred dance derived from the ancient Sufi practise, ritual and meditation of the “Sema.” The dance is trance and euphoria-inducing and offers a sense of connectedness and expansiveness among many other virtues. I have been a fan of Mark Wagner for years now. I can’t even remember how I came across him, but I would always watch his videos and be absolutely mesmerised.
I messaged him late last year and asked him to dance in this video and I said he could choose wherever he wanted to in the whole world to film it. Our correspondence was no more than a few e-mails back and forth, not even a phone call. He sent me this video and I was actually speechless. Not only had I been unaware that he was based in London, but we had shot outtakes for the 2018 album cover with Anton [Newcombe] at the exact location that he had chosen. Mysticism at its finest!
Watch the video below.
And Those Who Were Seen Dancing is out 5/20 on Fuzz Club/Hand Drawn Dracula. Pre-order it here.