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How Animals Move

Thrill Jockey
thrill 110 - 2002

Indie rock fans know who John Parish is, they just don't know who he is. In nearly two decades of impeccable work, Parish has always done jobs where proficiency is tantamount to anonymity. Parish produced and contributed to the critically acclaimed albums It's A Wonderful Life by Sparklehorse, Goldfrapp's Felt Mountain and Giant Sand's Chore Of Enchantment. He is perhaps known best for nearly twenty years worth of collaborations with PJ Harvey. His involvement and influence on her records is multifaceted: co-producer, featured musician, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, touring band mainstay. In 2001 John co-wrote, produced and was a featured musician on Eels Souljacker (Dreamworks) recently named as album of the year by Time magazine.

The recording of How Animals Move took place over an extended period of time in various studios & non-studios around the world. Animals depths are plumbed in all manner, from the solo violin piece "absolute beauty is an absolute curse" played by Clare Mactaggart to the title track (Parish's occasional 11 piece band featuring Portishead's Adrian Utley & slide guitarist Jeremy Hogg), to vocal contributions from Does Dd Wolf, David Donahue and longtime accomplice Polly Harvey. The lyrical quality of the instrumental tracks and the linear flow of the album are a testament to the compositional abilities of John Parish. That they should be recorded and played with such elegant restraint should be no surprise coming from this humble and quiet Bristol based family man. The patient, languid flow of Animals songs conjure a mature certainty, dreamlike swooning and the dusky ripples of a truly reverberating talent. How Animals Move will certainly shift the spotlight towards one that has for too long remained in the shadows.



  • 1 Absolute Beauty Is An Absolute Curse
  • 2 Westward Airways
  • 3 El Merreon
  • 4 Shrunken Man
  • 5 How Animals Move
  • 6 The Florida Recount
  • 7 Without Warning His Heart Stopped Beating
  • 8 Bernadette
  • 9 Spanish Girls
  • 10 Lord It's A Happy Land
  • 11 Stable Life
  • 12 How Animals Move (Part Two)
  • 13 Airplane Blues