Feature: James Galvo Parker – My 5 Biggest Influences

We’re back with our feature, ‘My 5 Biggest Influences’, where we talk to some of our favourite upcoming and established artists, delving into their greatest influences and inspirations, to see how bands, records, tracks, friends & family, hobbies and even environments have impacted on their work and music

Our latest guest is the fantastic Dublin singer-songwriter James Galvo Parker, who recently released his debut single The Weight. More about the track below, but first, here are James’ 5 Biggest Influences…

Kurt Cobain

I can still remember being 13, sitting on my brother’s bed watching ‘Unplugged In New York’. That moment I saw an aspect of myself and a vision of my future. I knew then everything had changed, it was one of my first spiritual defining moments – all my life I was surrounded by musicians and artists within my family but I never felt that was to be my life, and there in front of me on the telly was a fellow left hander, who had stomach problems and walked in between the duality of life, of light and the dark fires of the earthly night. I liked rock music before that but this was something so much bigger for me. I remember clearly recording ‘Oh Me’ the meat puppets song they played on ‘Unplugged’, on repeat on one side of a cassette tape and listening to it endlessly. And then and there I knew in my soul that I had to play guitar, the urge was beyond me, I got my brother to show me three chords and I never looked back

My Guitar

It’s been my anchor ever since, its been the only one whose been there for me when the sea storms of the darkness would come and call for me. It would wade out to the depths and give me something to hold onto, it allowed me to express emotions I could not express in my life but only through it. Some nights I would just trance out, hours that were the length of a long breath. I found my truth in it, I found a voice that is mine, not someone else’s but mine through it, it opened me to what is, not what is thought. It’s a bond that I hope to have till my dying days, and its an expression of truth that I am very grateful it allowed me to have

Being Irish

There is something quite beautiful, tragic, wild, and utterly comically insane about being Irish. A realness and beauty in word, mind and heart that somehow keeps breaking through broken generations. There is a sorrow here but also a means to shine within that, to crack a joke and dance around the fire that keeps trying to burn you. It’s a tough place to be sometimes, a place that doesn’t seem to support those who shine truest unless they go away and prove themselves or become less of themselves, but there is also a great openness to people here that embraces you no matter what – maybe that is its balance

The Sea

I used to walk with my dog at night by the sea, one year back in 2010 every night, as the sky and it became one giant dark navy womb. I would pour out my heart to it, and tell it tales of my woes and it would just listen, I believe the sea to be the greatest of listeners. It soothes with its presence alone, it embraces you without you having to enter it. I tried to live in Madrid once upon a time, it was a horrid experience on the whole and one of the main reasons was the fact that it was in the middle of the nowhere and there was not a wave to be heard, not a wind to be blown across your face to awaken you, not a moment of true air to breathe in and to feel alive. When I need to find my way, I go straight to it and it shakes me straight

My Dog Chewy

For the last eleven years, we walked every where, in my darkest times she was there when no one else was. She was the heart beat that would tell me it was alright, she taught me to live for the moment, that time passes and you got to grab every moment quick – to find that joy in the moment just because its time to walk or eat or be with one another. She always made me feel there would always be someone there to love me; the consistent was her and my guitar. She died last month suddenly, and it rocked my world – it’s been a time of tears for someone who I loved more than anyone else (and there have been a lot of them), and she earned the right to be a someone for all the time she spent with me… as dogs are better than people, this is a fact. I slowly am accepting life moves on but my heart stays with her


Set in the midst of Storm Ophelia which struck Ireland in 2017, James’ debut track The Weight lyrically reflects on a series of events (both literal and metaphorical) that happened during the storm, with a musical journey of atmospheric, intense indie-folk

As Parker himself explains, “sometimes the weight of love can envelop and pull you down, sometimes there is no choice but to step into the storm and drown.”

The Weight is accompanied by a beautifully cinematic video shot & edited by Ciaran O’Donnell, which can be enjoyed below…

The track was released on James’s own label Rebel Beat Records, and was recorded, mixed & mastered at Porchlight Studios by producer Niall Woods (sound engineer at Dublin’s National Concert Hall and a touring member of ‘Once – The Musical’). Parker and Woods are part of the recording collective ‘A Dark Horse’ along with Hugh Rodgers, who provides the piano and string arrangements that drive this new single

As well his songwriting talents, James is also a working actor based in Dublin & London and recently appeared in Mark O’Rowe’s ‘The Delinquent Season’ opposite Cillian Murphy

For more info, head to www.facebook.com/jamesgalvoparker