When the Tree Bears Fruit is the debut album from Melbourne four-piece Parsnip. Following on from two 7-inches in the last two years, Parsnip’s first full-length is playful, poetic, propulsive punk.
An album perpetually in motion, When the Tree Bears Fruit is just over half an hour of absurd, understated energy. There’s an immediacy to the sheer joy, velocity and whimsy of Parsnip’s delivery. Bass player and most-of-the-time lyricist Paris Richens is the first to admit that she finds inspiration in children’s verse and the sonics of nursery rhymes – “Sprouts” is an ode to plants in their first form, and “Trip the Light” is about the sheer joy of dancing. That said, Richens’ bandmates – drummer Carolyn Hawkins, guitarist Stella Rennex and keys player Rebecca Liston – are quick to remind her that nursery rhymes are almost always pretty twisted.
No one is being baked into a pie in a Parsnip song, but they deal in themes of loneliness, longing, the unknown and the mundane, almost as much as they dream of travel and make a romantic spectacle of the everyday. Across the album, transport and movement recur as an image, mostly alluding to a dreamy sense of possibility: lead single “Lift Off” is a plea for a quick flight away, “Seafarer” is a voyage against nature’s adversity, and “Lighthouse Beacon” sees a hope in the distance.
Ultimately, this is an album that invites its listener to join in its celebration: the record’s title, inspired by the ideas of guru and poet Sri Chinmoy, refers to the idea that a tree will grow fruit and it will be offered for anyone and everyone to share in. The band see this principle as it applies to their work – to sharing their joy and nonsense with the world, and hoping people will enjoy it.