Q&A with Nashville's Molly Parden

By: Chris Thiessen

December 05, 2017

Nashville's Molly Parden has been rising as a solo artist over the last year after years of providing backing vocals for the likes of Matthew Perryman Jones, Marc Scibilia, and Ron Pope. Currently on tour with David Ramirez, Parden will be stopping in town at the Mercy Lounge this Friday night, December 8 (Doors 8PM, Show 9PM). We caught up with Parden in prep for the show to get to know her a little bit better!

So how’s the tour going so far with David Ramirez?

Well, what do you want to know about it?

Just how it’s going, maybe funniest moment that you’ve had.

The funniest moment? David’s guitar player Simon is really funny. And Matt, his keys player, has been just writing down on his Notes app on his phone a lot of funny quotes that Simon says. And a lot of them involve some heavy curse words. But funniest moment? Well, let’s see. What city were we in? Oh, Cleveland. I think we were in Cleveland, and we had like a night off. We just hung out in David’s hotel room and played dice and watched baseball, I think. And maybe it wasn’t the funniest moment, but it was one of the funnest nights. I can’t really think of the funniest.

That’s OK. So you’re coming in town this Friday, correct? At the Mercy Lounge?


Is it more stressful or relaxing, do you think, to play at home?

I will probably be pretty nervous. But I’m definitely excited.

Cool. Do you have any friends or family coming to the show?

(Laughs) I hope so. I mean, you just never know until you get there and you see people. So people could say, “Yeah, I’m coming” or “Yeah, I’d love to come.” But truth is, half of those people probably won’t show up. So I’ve just conditioned myself to believe it when I see it.

Well, I’m sure there will be plenty of people who are excited.

Hope so. Hope so. We’ll see.

So your single “Sail on the Water”, which sounds awesome by the way—

Thanks, man.

It came out just about a month ago?

It premiered on American Songwriter November 1st and then came to Spotify and iTunes on the 17th.

Is there more in the works for 2018?

Yeah, absolutely. As soon as I hop off of this tour with David (our last show is the 16th in Birmingham), I will go straight to Madison, TN. I mean, like the next day. So like the 17th through 22nd will be spent recording eight more songs. I’ve already got three. I did three before I left. And I’ll do eight more with Juan Solorzano and Zach Dyke and a couple of choice musicians. And yeah, I’ll work on releasing a full-length next year.

Awesome. That sounds great. So I know you’ve expressed just having writer’s block and stuff over the last couple years after having taken that backing vocalist role for a couple years. But when you do write, and I guess what you’re planning on releasing next year, what types of themes and emotions are you most comfortable and passionate writing about?

Sadness is pretty easy for me to write about. Well, “easy” is probably not the right word to say. But when I feel it, and how even most people feel it, it’s just very present and seems like it will never end. It’s like a harsh emotion. And so I’ve found that it’s easy for me to put adjectives and easy for me to remember where I was and exactly what I was looking at, what I was doing when I feel sadness. You know, like heartbreak and loss of companionship, I’m comfortable writing those.

I just wrote a song, or finished it. I mean, I started it like two years ago, and I finished it this year. That’s, I think, on the more positive side of missing someone. It’s called “Who Are We Kiddin’?” But yeah, I’m more of a melancholic writer. It’s easy, and it’s kind of fun to write sad songs.

Yeah, it seems like people just gravitate towards that, and people connect the most with music when they are sad. So that makes sense. Alright, well, I’m gonna switch gears and hit you with a couple just “My Favorite Things” questions with Christmas coming up.


So what is your favorite Nashville show memory?

Thad Cockrell played his entire record To Be Loved at Mercy Lounge. And that’s probably my favorite show memory.

What’s your favorite Nashville eatery or favorite dish in Nashville?

Favorite eatery? That would be probably Burger Up.

Excellent choice. What’s your favorite music to come out this year?

2017? I can’t remember if the War on Drugs put out that record.

Yeah, that was this year.

That was this year? You know what? Actually maybe my favorite has been The Japanese House. I just discovered them this year. But she has several EPs. Yeah, Saw You In A Dream is a 2017 EP. Really good.

Awesome. War on Drugs and Japanese House, very dreamy and spacey.


Alright, and last one, what’s your favorite Christmas present that you’ve gotten or Christmas memory?

Geez, that’s a hard one. Christmases all kind of run together. I have a huge family. And we do Secret Santa where we just pick one name out of all the siblings. I have eight siblings. But hmm, I’m sure I’ve gotten a good Christmas present. I mean, I got a drill once. That was pretty cool. So I’ll say a drill.

That sounds great. Awesome. Well, thank you for your time. And good luck on the record and the show on Friday at the Mercy Lounge.

Thanks, Chris.

Make sure to make it out to the Mercy Lounge this Friday (December 8) at 8:00 PM! And check out her single "Sail on the Water" below! - Chris Thiessen