Nice Shoes is the debut single proper from John Parry, an exciting new streetwise singer-songwriter with a class consciousness and a neat line in indie-pop. Channelling Jamie T and Jack Garratt, on Nice Shoes Parry describes his encounter with a foreign girl, homing in on the detail to paint a universally recognisable portrait of lust on the tube. All furiously strummed electric guitar, self-deprecating lyric and “na na na na na na” refrain, Nice Shoes is destined to be a single of the summer. Watch here
Parry is amassing future playlist favourites (his Spotify following is growing daily). The 20-year-old singer-songwriter from East London has already made waves with Enough and Love Drunk Punch – songs that detail Parry’s exploits on the harsh streets of Isle of Dogs and Poplar – but with Nice Shoes he has reached new levels of infectiousness with a side order of cheeky sauce.
But the former ELAM (East London Arts and Music) alumni hasn’t just mastered catchy three-minute guitar-fuelled indie: the B-side, Take My Money, is a doleful meditation on love on the dole that shows Parry can do quiet fury as well as fun. Both songs are inspired by real-life experiences: his pithy rhymes explore the vagaries of relationships and the injustices he witnessed growing up on the rough side of the capital with rare skill and invention.
“I’m still developing as a songwriter and I rely very much on life experiences and my mood, but my songs are taking a darker turn, which I think compliments the venues I have been playing in,” he explains. “I pride myself on the songs I write being 100% true experiences. A girl found out that a song I wrote was about her by the lyrics and she went mental!”
Parry, who grew up loving rugby and boxing, is making a name for himself as a multifaceted cockney folkie, able to croon moodily over a ballad, flow like a rapper, even growl social commentary like a punk. No wonder his fan base is swelling, helped by a strong presence on social media and key performances including London’s Lovebox and supporting Fismoll at The Garage. He’ll be playing more dates soon. Catch him while you can.