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Tuesday, Mar 29 2011 | 14:01 Buy this now at GoodToGo (B2B)

Musician and songwriter, Rykarda Parasol describes her dark and mysterious music as “rock noir”. It calls up cinematic imagery akin to David Lynch or Alfred Hitchcock giving way to an icy blonde plot and Parasol’s husky low sing/talk embodies the essence of the sharp fearless femme fatale. Often compared to the likes of Nick Cave, Black Heart Procession and The Velvet Underground, Parasol personifies both swamp and sophistication reminding of us the Doors, Serge Gainsbourg, and Nico. A deep gender-bending voice, her focus is delivering Faulkner-like tales with conviction and suspense. Parasol draws on American rock, soul and southern influences as well as Northern European styles imparted to her by her parents. She has written and self-produced and self-released two highly acclaimed albums (“Our Hearts First Meet” and “For Blood And Wine”). And her unique musical style can be traced to her studies in art, music, and literature.

Critically acclaimed for both for her recordings as well as live shows, Parasol still remains an unsigned artist. For nearly ten years, Parasol, like so many solo artists and bands, has had to lead a DIY existence in order to forge ahead in music. Throughout the majority of her music career you can find Parasol acting as her own manager, booking agent, and press person. In fact, DIY means that everything from the album artwork, which has also garnered her acclaim, to costuming to recording production, often is a hands-on action. It’s something to consider when you listen to an independent artist. It certainly can make for a closer, more personal experience to know that artists such as she feel so passionate about what they do they are willing to do as much as they can to create an atmosphere and experience that coincides with the music itself. For the time being, Parasol continues to produce and manufacture her own recordings. She is hard at work writing new songs.

Parasol first began writing music while living in Texas also in part as a result of being dissatisfied with a gap in music being made by or presented to women. She dared to tread in a genre, murder ballad rock, where most women were either paired with male songwriters or often met with disbelief and resistance if in command of their own project. Coining her music “rock noir”, Parasol intended to evoke the film noir genre. Like many femme fatales, Parasol embodies a sharp-witted lead whose appeal is more entrusted in her ingenuity than in her shape. Nonetheless, Parasol is keen on a visual sensibility and style that leans towards stark grandeur and dark sophistication. Many of her chilling tales are derived from her own personal experiences making her work both authentic and captivating. Indeed her elegant and feminine persona can sometimes be at odds in the world of begrimed rock, but it makes for a significant twist on a timeless format. What Parasol lacks in brawn she makes up with cunning. She is more interested in conveying meaning than showcasing her vocal abilities and this creates a stirring effect.

Having had some opera training as a soprano, Parasol found it stimulating to build up her lower voice, which yielded a strong blues-like tone. The result has generated comparisons to some highly notable male and female vocalists of the last century such as Diamanda Galas, Jim Morrison, Nico, Edith Piaf, and others. Besides her physical ability, it’s her dedication to the stories and the nuance of language that should command the most attention. It is here that her particular voice is served the best format to be displayed and where Parasol’s talent for word and speech take center stage.

Based in San Francisco, California, Parasol is immersed in many cultures. She is half Swedish, half Israeli. The daughter of a Polish-born Holocaust survivor and a Swedish mother. She spent her youth interwined in the intensity of her both her parent’s stories. She is also now sought out as a writer and illustrator for independent projects many music related. She has plans to publish a spoken word book as well as an illustrated one. Parasol continues to write songs towards a third album and is planning a tour in Europe, both solo and with her 4-piece band, for early summer 2011.

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