Parker Gispert Of The Whigs To Release Debut Solo Album “Sunlight Tonight” November 16th


Photo by Alexa King

Parker Gispert, frontman of the acclaimed rock and roll band The Whigs, is set to release his debut solo album Sunlight Tonight on November 16th, 2018 via the New West Records Athens, GA-based imprint Normaltown Records. The eight-song set was produced by Emery Dobyns (Patti Smith, Antony & The Johnsons) and features contributions from Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney, former Sparklehorse vocalist Sol Seppy and Adele bassist Samuel Dixon, among other musicians. Gispert was still in college when he formed the Whigs in the early 2000s in Athens, GA, and after five critically-acclaimed albums, hundreds of tour dates all over the world with the likes of Kings of Leon, the Black Keys, Drive-By Truckers, among others, as well as television appearances on the Late Show with David Letterman and Jimmy Kimmel Live!, the band decided to pull back on activity in 2017. Which left Gispert, who had spent the majority of his adult life either in the studio or on the road with the band, at a crossroads. “It occurred to me that if I wanted to record and tour that I was going to need to do it solo,” Gispert says. “I’d always thought about it in the back of my mind as something that I wanted to do one day, but ‘one day’ had never really come.”

Sunlight Tonight finds Gispert, known for leading The Whigs through raw and jangly southern-garage rave-ups, taking a decidedly different musical approach – biting electric guitar riffs are cast out in favor of gentle acoustic picking and strumming, and his bandmates’ raucous rhythms are traded in for minimal accompaniment that includes light bass and drums, orchestral strings and even trumpet. Gispert’s lyrics, meanwhile, are his most introspective and personal to date (albeit with a bit of humor thrown in here and there). Ultimately, his change in musical direction was helped along the way by a change of geography. Gispert last year accepted an invitation from a friend to visit his 100-acre hemp farm, located roughly an hour outside of Nashville. “It was like a total time warp,” he recalls of the property. “No heat or AC. No animals. Water from a well. It was just a house and a plot of land. I ended up staying there for a year.” The plot of land was where Sunlight Tonight came into being. “I would wake up early and get my guitar and walk outside and come up with all of these songs. And without a band to turn to as the deciding factor on, say, a melody or a lyric, I ended up turning to the scenery and the landscape I was dealing with instead. The farm was like my collaborator – it kind of answered everything for me, as weird as that sounds. And the songs started coming pretty quickly.”

This week, Relix Magazine premiered the Mike Egan directed video for the song “Too Dumb To Love Anyone.” Speaking to the magazine, Gispert said “When I first starting playing solo, I’d play different versions of Whigs songs at my shows. As I wrote the songs for Sunlight Tonight, I’d slowly replace the Whigs songs with my solo material. ‘Too Dumb To Love Anyone’ was originally intended for the Whigs so I was already playing it in those sets consisting solely of Whigs songs. It’s the only song that carried over from my early solo shows to where I am now.” See it HERE. Billboard previously premiered the video for the album’s lead off track, and the first Gispert began writing for Sunlight Tonight, a psychedelia-laced meditation titled “Through The Canvas.” Built on a bed of acoustic guitar and cello, the song finds Gispert laying out what is essentially a statement of purpose: “Suddenly I got up, Suddenly I could move, Shook off all the bullshit that was weighing down my shoes.” Explains Gispert, “With the Whigs, I had been in that band since I was a teenager. So when that slowed, I found myself in a place where I was almost paralyzed, like, What do I do next? It was confusing. The bullshit was all the worries. All the fear. All the drama. All the stuff you can’t articulate. After I put all of that behind me, I was able to set out on this journey of making a solo record.” See the “Through The Canvas” video HERE.

Parker Gispert has also announced his initial tour dates in support of Sunlight Tonight, beginning October 26th in Charlotte, NC (Please see all dates below). Sunlight Tonight will be available digitally, on compact disc, as well as vinyl LP and is available for pre-order now via New West Records.

While excited to launch his career as a solo artist, Gispert still gets plenty of opportunities to play with his band, as the Whigs continue to reconvene for sporadic live shows, including a recent spate of dates celebrating the tenth anniversary of their 2008 record, Mission Control. But far from his solo endeavors having a negative impact on the group, he has found the opposite to be true. “I’d always been afraid of doing something solo because I thought it might mess up the band vibe, but now I’m able to see that it actually helps,” Gispert says. “When we do get back together to play, it’s fun and it’s fresh and it has a new life.”

Parker Gispert on Tour:
October 26th – Charlotte, NC Recover Brands
October 27th – Whitesburg, KY Listening Room
November 15th – Atlanta, GA Smith’s Olde Bar
November 16th – Birmingham, AL Mom’s Basement
November 17th – Athens, GA Nowhere Bar
November 19th – Nashville, TN The Basement
November 29th – Raleigh, NC Neptunes
November 30th – Richmond, VA Richmond Music Hall
December 1st – Norfolk, VA Toast
December 2nd – Washington DC DC9
December 4th – Philadelphia, PA Boot & Saddle
December 6th – New York, NY Rockwood Music Hall
December 7th – Boston, MA O’Briens
December 8th – Portsmouth, NH Press Room
December 11th – Buffalo, NY Mohawk
December 12th – Lancaster, PA Lizard Lounge
December 13th – Cleveland, OH Now That’s Class
December 14th – Detroit, MI UFO Factory
December 15th – Chicago, IL Beat Kitchen
December 20th – Cincinnati, OH Motr Pub
January 9th – Macon, GA Creek Stage @ Rookery
January 10th – Charleston, SC Royal American
January 11th – Bluffton, SC Roasting Room
January 12th – Greenville, SC Radio Room
January 22th – New Orleans, LA Cosmic Evenings House Show
January 23rd – New Orleans, LA Gasa Gasa
January 24th – Houston, TX Shoeshine Charley’s
January 25th – Austin, TX Mohawk
January 26th – Dallas, TX Double Wide
January 27th – San Antonio, TX Paper Tiger
January 30th – Phoenix, AZ Yucca Tap Room
January 31st – Las Vegas, NV Beauty Bar
February 1st – Los Angeles, CA Bootleg Bar
February 2nd – San Diego, CA Bar Pink
February 6th – San Francisco, CA Hotel Utah
February 7th – Santa Cruz, CA Crepe Place
February 8th – Reno, NV House Concert
February 13th – Vancouver, BC LanaLou’s
February 14th – Seattle, WA Sunset Tavern
February 15th – Spokane, WA Bartlett
February 21st – Denver, CO Lost Lake
February 25th – Omaha, NE O’Leaver’s
February 26th – Des Moines, IA Vaudeville Mews
February 27th – Davenport, IA Raccoon Motel
February 28th – Minneapolis, MN 7th Street Entry
March 1st – Milwaukee, WI The Back Room @ Collectivo