Born in Jonesboro, GA to a family of 9 children that had little exposure to music apart from a church hymnal, Molly Parden’s career in music is something of a mystery—something that happened to her more than it was ever anything she set out for. When none of her siblings took a particular interest in music at a young age, Molly inherited a violin built by her great uncle when she was 8 years old— discovering her lifelong love for music through the haunting simplicity of melodies long before she ever heard pop music, picked up a guitar, or started singing songs of her own.
Molly moved to Atlanta in 2010 to immerse herself in the folk scene that Tyler Lyle, David Berkeley and Micah Dalton had been cultivating. While participating and featuring in ATL Collectives over the years, a record of 9 songs was compiled and released in April 2011 with the help of producer Joel Seibel and his immensely talented roommates who happened to all be studying music at Georgia State University. “Time Is Medicine” is her debut that has stood the test of time, the songs can still be heard at any of Molly’s live shows. A transplant to Nashville in the spring of 2013 helped her discover she could pay her bills as a singer, providing her memorable and uniquely captivating harmony vocals on over 50 records in just a few years. Though she rarely performed her own songs live, her increasing number of fans and champions—everyone from her mom to Ryan Adams to her fellow songwriters in Nashville’s vibrant underground— encouraged her to make another record of her own.
“With Me in the Summer” is Molly’s 2016 EP that again showcases her voice that is as haunting as it is comforting, beautifully raw and yet effortlessly just out of reach— a disarming union of aloofness and intimacy that runs throughout her songs, lulling the listener with its cadence of melancholic melodies and searching phrases that whir in your head long after her songs have gone silent.
But for all its unapproachable beauty, the heart of Molly’s music is humble and profoundly human. They are songs that remind us that heartbreak isn’t simply another marketable human emotion, but is more like a familiar place—a sacred space within all of us. We are all born with a deep sense of loss, and great art has a way of articulating the personal tragedy inside of us. It makes listening to Molly’s songs feel like falling into a dream or a distant memory— a beautiful reminder of something we’ve known all along.
-James McFetridge Wilson
MOST INFLUENTIAL ALBUM
SEA GREEN, SEE BLUE | JAYMAY
When I heard Jaymay sing, I realized that good music could be simple and effective. Then I realized that I could do it too. Then I realized that I could do it better than her. Thanks for the affirmation, girlfriend.