In late 2013, Parmalee proved to be an unlikely success with their breakthrough hit "Carolina." And this was no overnight success, either — their previous song, "Musta Had a Good Time," fizzled out at #38, while "Carolina" took forever to get going. After three weeks at #40, it fell from the Top 40 before re-entering. It actually fell from the charts entirely on August 3, but got put back on a week later due to a small spike in airplay. From that very, very slow start, it went on to become a #1 hit in December. "Carolina" was most deserving of completing that journey, as it was a sturdy, well-sung mid-tempo about missing your baby, an emotion that almost anyone can identify with. And if ever there were a time for a good followup, it would be now.
"Close Your Eyes" starts off with vivid lyrics that instantly set the mood: "Well take a look at what's left in that sunset / Fireflies popping like the Fourth of July, yeah / You're gonna wanna see every single thing I'm gonna show you tonight" — familiar, yes, but more detailed than most other songs that tread the same ground. Throughout, the song's topic of promising a good night for his girl is laid out in a similarly lyrical fashion, hung nicely on the hook "might wanna close your eyes for this." Lead singer Matt Thomas has a subtle vocal delivery with a hint of Dierks Bentley grain, and the production is tight, with enough electric guitar and drums to give it a pulse, but enough banjo to keep it country. (And I would be remiss not to mention two of the underrated talents behind the songwriting: Shane Minor and Trent Tomlinson. I could easily see this song fitting in on Tomlinson's stellar debut.)
Parmalee's singles, so far, suggest a band with a knack for songs that are easygoing enough for radio playlists, edgy enough to stand out, and lyrically strong enough not to be instantly forgotten. With "Carolina" and now with "Close Your Eyes," Parmalee clearly has the potential for a major breakout in 2014. Here's hoping that "Close Your Eyes" takes considerably less time to top the charts than its predecessor did.