In life, newcomer Stevie Parker is both a keen observer and an active participant, moving through the world with a quiet charisma. Musically, she’s the same way—and her debut album, The Cure, is the perfect introduction. Sonically, The Cure stands out because of Parker’s raw talent: the 24-year-old’s smoky vocals (at times raspy, at times quite delicate) never fail to paint an evocative picture—of lost love, of longing, of the melancholic beauty of just living. Production-wise, pulsing synths (think: The xx) provide an atmospheric yet sleek backdrop.
However, what truly sets The Cure apart is Parker’s self-awareness in her writing: the record is a deft yet frank examination of her strengths, her flaws, and her relationships with others—and with herself. Parker’s thoughtfulness and honesty is not a surprise. She is not an artist Virgin EMI plucked out of obscurity and signed on the spot; her story is not the stuff of fairytales. Her first record is a culmination of years of hard work in quiet moments, of striving to find her own voice.