A press release for legendary musician and wordsmith Van Dyke Parks announced the artist’s first new music release since 1995’s Orange Crate Art, a collaboration with former Beach Boy Brian Wilson. The project will be a series of six 7” singles, which will all be released this year on Parks’ Bananastan label. Only the first two singles, “Dreaming of Paris” and “Wedding in Madagascar,” have names so far.
For the artwork, Parks enlisted some top-notch contemporary artists, which include Art Spiegelman (Maus), Frank Holmes (Beach Boys’ original Smile artwork) and Los Angeles artist Charles Ray.
“They are from highly different genres, each of them,” Parks said about the singles. “They don’t cohere. They belong somewhere. But the emphasis on the visual art is a big, big deal. These are the pre-eminent American artists of our time. We’re calling it ‘Nouveau Niche.’”
Aside from his own material and his highly publicized work with Wilson, Parks has collaborated with some big names including Randy Newman, Ry Cooder and recently on Joanna Newsom’s Ys. Parks also has a compilation album of his greatest arrangements — which includes songs by Arlo Guthrie, Bonnie Raitt and Sal Valentino — coming out Sept. 20.