“A sonic iconoclast” known for her distinct art folk, artist Kela Parker’s musical genes developed into her unmistakable sound while soaking up the DIY indie music spirit of her hometown of Portland, Oregon. On her first two albums the singer-songwriter with a beguiling voice and innate, genre-resistant musicality garnered praise for her “sharp musicianship, equal parts measured and thoughtful, heady and blithe,” (Bob Ham, Willamette Week).
From the playful and virtuosic post-jazz of “Relative Motion” to the moody indie rock in “Let the Walls” and “Desiderata,” on her first project, HOUSWIFE, Parker dove deep and wide into her many musical influences, which she performed at venues as diverse as the Portland Art Museum, the Blue Monk, and many a house show. After a catastrophic house fire in 2016 came a migratory period and ongoing health trials, which informed the nomadic 2018 The Dreamer & The Dream, heralded as “deeply rooted, but of the moment” (BuzzMusic LA). Her 2018 ode to the Portland of her formative years, “Song To My City” became a lament for all cities undergoing gentrification, while the dark sci-fi synth-heavy space odyssey of “Be a Child” received rave reviews from bloggers and art music aficionados alike.
Parker has brought her dynamic live set to venues across the United States including Los Angeles’ historic Viper Room and Bardot, Rockwood Music Hall in New York City, from opening for international acts such as Madeleine Peyroux at the Aladdin Theatre in Portland, Oregon to playing with the Skid Row music troupe Urban Voices Project. Across each new project the Mystic Madame reliably delivers songcraft with ancient roots and unexpected forms, the result satisfyingly familiar and fresh at the same time.