“Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify.” – Henry David Thoreau
More often than not, folk themes revert back to the root concepts of transcendentalism pioneered by Thoreau and Emerson. Bands preach about living symbiotically with the land they grew up on, and their music accentuates their naturalist lifestyles. At the same time, larger than average bands meld individually uncomplicated instruments into a compounded wave of uniqueness to highlight the power of collective simplicity. Alone they are rustic, but together they are organically magical.
Those redeeming traits flawlessly outline the western folk skeleton that is Utah’s The National Parks. As if the name weren’t enough, their entire debut album Young is filled with outdoorsy themes that triangulate their origins within the general radius of the Rocky Mountains. On the lyrical surface, “Ghosts” represents any classic story of distant lovers crossing impassable boundaries to be at each other’s side. Any stargazing folk dreamer could identify however, that The National Parks stuff every crevasse of “Ghosts” with mother nature’s unrefined glory (i.e. seasons, trees, oceans, rivers, mountains, valleys, etc.). That strategy of promoting the naturally Utopian West proved more successful than expected, as their debut album Young became a cult hit among the folk community in 2013, topping off at #13 on the iTunes singer/songwriter album charts.