Arrowroot is a plant sometimes used medicinally or as a source of starch when cultivated from the root that’s often found underground. It’s also the title of a single from Parker Smith’s upcoming sophomore album, Underground.
Smith’s baritone vocals emerge from a symphony of strings that sing within the Americana folk modus operandi. Hailing from Atlanta, Georgia, the folk musician possesses the skills of both a songwriter and a performer. He is here to share stories—through songs he feels they find their best home for expression.
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Thoughtful imagery sheds light on a larger theme expressed throughout this song. “Stuck inside a dusty picture frame/ Buried my grandfather’s name/ Not a blemish or a wrinkle on his face/ Mired in time and space/ Arrowroot, quarter moon/ Sunshower, monsoon/ Moonbeams, kudzu/ Climbing softly back to you.”
The use of plants and their nature paint motifs of cycles, memories, and the passage of life. Perennial plants are those that are continually recurring or long-lasting much like the relationship Smith is alluding towards in this piece. Kudzu (also known as Japanese or Chinese arrowroot), for example, is a group of climbing perennial vines that’s known to be invasive in North America.
Much like the nature of this plant and the cycles of the moon seems to be the nature of this someone’s presence in Smith’s life but also the nature of life itself. A nature that involves a cycle and end to things unlike those we see preserved in the “dusty picture frame.”
“Arrowroot” is out and will accompany many songs April 9 on Underground. Listen below.
Anjali Rose Kumar is a musician, videographer, and creative freak based in Brooklyn, NYC. Anjali is learning to cope with a self-imposed quarantine in NYC’s second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic by spending her hours recording music in her bedroom, watching her unemployment leave her bank account, and embarking on a newly revived love of writing. In fact, when Anjali was 10 years old she was convinced she would live her life as a writer, however, she would often confuse her teachers by making up her own vocabulary and therefore buried the interest for 15 years. Cheers to the new years ahead of us. You can find out more about Anjali here.