Some artists seem like a conduit between heaven and earth; by remaining open to all artistic possibilities they give the rest of us earthlings a glimpse of other realms through poetry, art and music. It’ s not an exaggeration to include Scout Paré-Phillips in this category. Exuding mystical sensuality, Scout uses her experiences of love and loss to create heavenly songs. Ultimately, she has narrated a tumultuous love story over two 7”s and two albums, including her latest release Door Left Open, out March 10th on Dais Records.
“I know that I was the one to leave this time but you still won’ t leave any part of my mind you said ‘ Scout, don’ t worry my heart it remains broken there will always be a door left open.’”-Scout Paré-Phillips, Door Left Open (title track)
After enduring heartbreak while on tour for her previous album Heed the Call, Scout took to pen and paper, composing a song cycle that beautifully and painstakingly reflects her despair. The album explores intimate themes that give infinite weight to her songs – anchoring them here on earth while the subject of love lost and found reverberates like soundwaves floating up and out in the atmosphere. Scout seems to reopen her wounds then stitch herself back up again, using the only tools she has – powerful operatic vocals underscored by walls of haunting, ambient tones.
Crashing crescendos of guitar, autoharp, cello and keyboards, combined with acoustic and electronic percussion by longtime musical collaborator, Emil Bognar-Nasdor (Dawn of Humans, Røsenkopf), provide a lush backdrop befitting Scout’ s torch songs, complimenting the rich timbre of her classically-trained voice. A photographer, filmmaker, model, songwriter and vocalist, Scout’ s solo career evolved from her illustrious foundation as a trained opera singer as well as songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and backing balladeer for the Baltimore based, post-punk/country act, The Sterling Sisters. The daughter of a Mississippi country singer, her contributions as vocalist and bass player helped to distinguish the Sisters as tightly-woven, dark, surreal Americana. Scout’ s array of musical talents were ready to be unleashed with a solo effort.
Scout’ s force-of-nature quality and vocal control bring to mind a modern-day Joni Mitchell. Her style stems from professional training combined with a natural ear and affinity for unique and alternative instrumentation. Using autoharp and baritone guitar, Scout’ s songs harken a modern, dark yet feminine version of some of history’ s most revered acoustic legends, such as Leonard Cohen and Sibylle Baier, as well as prolific and poetic lyricists like Nick Cave, Rowland S. Howard and Diamanda Galas.
Always one to spot the most unique talent, Jack White (The White Stripes/Third Man) recruited Scout to accompany him on Lazaretto as well as star in his new video, “Would You Fight For My Love?” They worked together to record The World’s Fastest Record, released to the public in under four hours.
In addition to her musical talent, Scout is also a visual artist and photographer, specializing in digital self-portraiture and designer look books. Her raw and starkly-contrasted photography series explore textiles, bondage and symbiotic artistic relationships with women, fashion and the ties that bind. Scout has a BFA in textiles and photography from MICA and is working on a Masters in Teaching as well as one in Clinical Psychology and Counseling.
TRACKS:1. Door Left Open 2. Fire 3. Howl 4. Another 5. The Fall 6. Wounded Son 7. A Love This Hard 8. Crying (Orbison) 9. Pale Blue Dawn 10. Stay