Back in October 2019 we introduced readers to Parker Longbough, the nom de plume of Matthew Witthoeft, a singer songwriter and musical artist from Anchorage, Alaska. The wide open spaces are strong in his songs, and no less so than in his latest single, ‘The Youngster’, which comes from his fifth album, ‘Crackle and Hiss’. Both single and long player were released on Friday 22 January.
‘The Youngster’ is a rollicking good tune, with an underlying, much darker story behind it. Longbough explains:
“’The Youngster’ laments the real-life story of 3 promising SoundCloud rappers who died prematurely. Each verse in the song is sort of a quick story of the tragic last few hours Lil Peep, JuiceWRLD, and XXXtentacion respectively.”
The chorus takes it further, all three artists lamented with “why do you always play with guns; why do you always join those bad clubs; why do you always do those hard drugs”. The storyline, and the lyrics are at odds with the folky acoustic and electric guitars, and bright percussive elements, but in a way it helps the listener focus on the lyrics, and it gives a poignancy to the words. The fact of using a folk style to tell the story of three rappers seems a little incongruous at first, but it brings home the idea of a unity between musical artists: they’re all trying to make a living from their art. When looked at from this angle, it’s easy to see why music veteran Longbough would despair at three promising young artists cut down way too soon.
Listen to ‘The Youngster’ below. You can find out more about Parker Longbough and his music online on his official website.