Parker Millsap

Galea McGregor / WXPN

Parker Millsap grew up in the small town of Purcell, Okla., where he began singing in the Pentecostal church his parents attended. In 2014, he released his self-titled debut, which was full of songs and characters from his youth and earned him an Americana Emerging Artist of the Year nomination.

This is Sample Size, our weekly new music feature with KOSU's Ryan LaCroix and LOOKatOKC music critic Matt Carney.

Today, Matt reflects on the passing of Phife Dawg of A Tribe Called Quest, and plays new music from Oklahoma musician Parker Millsap and Los Angeles house duo Classixx.

Parker Millsap has a voice that grabs you and doesn't let go. The musician is just 23, from a small town in Oklahoma — but the songs on his newest album, The Very Last Day, draw on older influences, including Greek mythology, vintage blues and his own Pentecostal upbringing.

Millsap spoke with NPR's Melissa Block about learning how to sing without being self-conscious, as well as channeling a childhood fear of the biblical rapture into his work. Hear the radio version at the audio link and read an edited version of their conversation below.

Courtesy of the artist

"It's not the end of the world" is a thing people say to place inconveniences in perspective, a reminder that a rush-hour fender bender doesn't belong to the same category of catastrophe as nuclear or biblical apocalypse.

Courtesy of the artist

The great novelist Flannery O'Conner once wrote that, "To the hard of hearing you shout, and for the almost blind you draw large and startling figures." This was her way of explaining why she populated her fiction with grotesquely flawed characters, exaggerating their ugliest impulses in the funhouse mirror of writerly vision.

Welcome to Sample Size, where KOSU's Ryan LaCroix and LOOKatOKC pop music columnist Matt Carney team up each week to discuss music news and new music releases.

Today, we look back at some of our favorite tracks from Oklahoma musicians in 2014, including Parker Millsap, Colourmusic, and Broncho.

Audio Pending...

Follow Matt & Ryan on Twitter at @OKmattcarney and @KOSUryan.

Guthrie Ends Summer With Block Party

Sep 22, 2014

Guthrie closes out its summer concert series with a lineup of local and international bands.

KOSU’s Kate Strum reports on Make Guthrie Weird.

Make Guthrie Weird welcomes fall this Saturday with its last block party of the year featuring musicians from Oklahoma and beyond.  

Songs announce themselves as essential in different ways. Some knock you off balance; some help you find your rhythm. Some insinuate themselves into your life slowly, until you can't imagine a time they didn't exist; some leap out of car windows, change the course of your week and then vanish.

World Cafe Next: Parker Millsap

Mar 31, 2014

The latest World Cafe: Next artist is Oklahoma singer-songwriter Parker Millsap, who recently released his solo debut and follows in the footsteps of fellow Oklahoman John Fullbright. With strong songwriting, a powerful voice and an engaging live show, Millsap represents himself awfully well for someone who's only 20. Download a pair of his songs on this page, or as part of our World Cafe: Next podcast.

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