“The overarching theme of this album is getting out of our heads, getting into nature, and experiencing the world around us with the people who matter the most,” says guitarist, vocalist, and namesake of his band, The National Parks, Brady Parks. The record he’s speaking of is their fifth full-length album, 8th Wonder, and it’s out now. Along with Megan Parks on violin, Sydney Macfarlane on vocals and keys, and Cam Brannelly on drums, The National Parks want listeners to feel the rush of running and jumping into a lake at full speed; the feeling of the clouds parting and bathing in the warm sun; or being met with a gust of cool, morning air upon stepping outside. These are the sensations being translated into song on 8th Wonder. Fans and critics who have already bonded with tunes like “Trouble,” “Sunshine,” and “8th Wonder,” ahead of the album’s release are sure to find just as much fun and inspiration in the album as a whole, just in time for the budding spring and summer ahead.
The entirety of 8th Wonder is now available to stream or purchase at this link, and tickets for The National Parks’ 8th Wonder Tour can be purchased at thenationalparksband.com/tour. The band will kick off their spring tour in Salt Lake City before making their way up and down the west coast and Rocky Mountains region. Their fall tour starts in Birmingham, Alabama, and hits most east coast and midwest markets throughout September and October. A full list of 8th Wonder Tour dates can be found below.
More About 8th Wonder: At the top of 2022, The National Parks hopped on Zoom for a “New Year’s Resolutions meeting,” which galvanized their next step and the vision for the album became completely clear. The band discussed their ambitions for the year ahead and ultimately decided they wanted to hone in more on their core identity for the next LP. That connection with the natural world became the thematic center of the writing process. “We’ve stepped into what The National Parks is,” Sydney elaborates. “We basically said, ‘This is who we are and who we have always been.’ We decided to show who we are without trying to prove anything. I think it’s our best work.”
“Angels,” the album’s first single and opening track, sets the tone for what’s to come. The layered, evocative song centers on breaking free of expectation and searching for adventure on the open road—a sentiment that threads through the rest of the album. On the song, Brady sings, “Imma tell our kids about this someday.”
Following “Angels,” The National Parks initially teased the album with the single “History Channel.” A pop-punk beat sets the pace as piano dances around a thick guitar riff. Brady’s voice echoes on the chantable chorus as he confesses, “I didn’t know I could feel this way.” “It’s about being caught up in day-to-day routines,” the frontman reveals. “Something happens, and you take a step back to admire life for how epic it really is. For me, it came right after our son was born. I was so in awe of Megan and having a baby. It took my life from the plains to the mountain range and it was so massive and mysterious. That’s the heart of it for me.” “We really tapped into the energy of bands like blink-182 and Taking Back Sunday,” Cam goes on. “It was so fun to record because we got to listen to music from our childhood.”
A violin solo glistens through “Sunshine” as acoustic guitars wrap around a steady beat. “You’re finding those people and holding onto that energy when the days are rough,” he says.
Then, there’s “Trouble.” It bottles the butterflies of “love-at-first sight.” Speaking of love, the finale “Rodeo” traces a roadmap of real romance across “all of the places we’ve been on this journey as we’ve pursued music and our relationships” in between steady handclaps and tambourine.
In the end, The National Parks welcome everyone into a much bigger and more wonderful musical world. “When you hear this, we hope you feel like you stepped outside,” Brady leaves off. “We hope you discover the spirit of the unknown and the adventure of life with all its ups and downs. This album is about embracing it all and living life to the fullest.
8th Wonder Tour Spring 2023 Dates:
Friday, March 17 - Salt Lake City, UT - Union Events Center
Thursday, April 20 - Rexburg, ID - Romance Theater
Friday, April 21 - Rexburg, ID - Romance Theater (SOLD OUT)
Saturday, April 22 - Boise, ID - Treefort Music Hall
Tuesday, April 25 - Portland, OR - Mission Theater
Wednesday, April 26 - Seattle, WA - The Crocodile's Madame Lou's
Friday, April 28 - Berkeley, CA - Cornerstone
Saturday, April 29 - Santa Cruz, CA - The Atrium
Thursday, May 4 - San Diego, CA - Voodoo
Friday, May 5 - Los Angles, CA - Troubadour
Saturday, May 6 - Phoenix, AZ - Crescent Ballroom
Tuesday, May 9 - Houston, TX - The Bronze Peacock at House of Blues - Houston
Wednesday, May 10 - Austin, TX - Antone's
Thursday, May 11 - Dallas, TX - Kessler
Friday, May 12 - Oklahoma City, OK - 89th Street OKC
Saturday, May 13 - Denver, CO - Bluebird
8th Wonder Tour Fall 2023 Dates:
Thursday, September 28 - Birmingham, AL - Saturn
Friday, September 29 - Atlanta, GA - Terminal West
Saturday, September 30 - Carrboro, NC - Cat's Cradle
Monday, October 2 - Columbia, SC - New Brookland Tavern
Tuesday, October 3 - Asheville, NC - The Grey Eagle
Thursday, October 5 - Nashville, TN - Basement East
Friday, October 6 - Charlotte, NC - Camp Northend
Saturday, October 7 - Richmond, VA - Richmond Music Hall
Monday, October 9 - Columbus, OH - A&R Music Bar
Tuesday, October 10 - Pittsburgh, PA - Thunderbird Music Hall
Thursday, October 12 - Washington, DC - Union Stage
Friday, October 13 - New York, NY - Brooklyn Made
Saturday, October 14 - Boston, MA - Crystal Ballroom @ Somerville
Thursday, October 19 - Indianapolis, IN - The Hi-Fi
Friday, October 20 - Chicago, IL - Metro
Saturday, October 21 - Minneapolis, MN - Fine Line
Monday, October 23 - Omaha, NE - Waiting Room
Wednesday, October 25 - Kansas City, MO - RecordBar
Thursday, October 26 - Fayetteville, AR - George's Majestic
Friday, October 27 - St. Louis, MO - Delmar Hall
Saturday, October 28 - Louisville, KY - Headliners
For all dates and ticket information, please visit thenationalparksband.com/tour.