Premiere: The National Parks Come Alive with Heartland Hope in “Waiting for Lightning”

The National Parks © McKenna Chatterley
The National Parks come alive with a storm of passionate feeling in their new single “Waiting for Lightning,” a buoyant bolt of hope in the face of fear and the unknown.
for fans of The Lumineers, The Killers, The Head and The Heart
“Waiting for Lightning” – The National Parks



Utah’s The National Parks have long held a special place in my heart: Ever since debuting in 2013, the band’s deft marriage of folk, pop, and rock tropes has helped them evoke a timeless, intimately American heartland sound that breathes with wonder, hope, and possibility. They inspired with their debut album Young; they dazzled with 2015’s sophomore album Until I Live; and they brought us in closer than ever before on 2017’s expansive third album Places. The more they’ve grown, the deeper The National Parks have delved into themselves and their music, and the better they’ve gotten at expressing universal themes of connection and the human condition. The band come alive with a storm of passionate feeling in their new single “Waiting for Lightning,” a buoyant bolt of hope in the face of fear and the unknown.

Wildflower - The National Parks

Wildflower – The National Parks

I remember days
I was younger
growing up with the thunder
Living inside of me
I ran fast like a river, fell hard like timber
Hoping that I would see everything

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “Waiting for Lightning,” the latest single off their upcoming fourth album Wildflower (independently out June 19, 2020). To say the Provo quartet have never sounded better feels like a disservice to the past decade’s catalog, but Brady Parks [guitar, vocals], Sydney Macfarlane [keys, vocals], Cam Brannelly [drums], and Megan Parks [violin] seem more in touch with each other than ever before: Recent singles “Wildflower” and “Time” find them deftly blending gorgeous vocal harmonies with catchy, moving melodies that fit just right, and hit home with emotional fortitude.

“Waiting for Lightning” is no exception, with dazzling oohs and a tasteful blend of piano and guitar supporting Brady Parks’ evocative vocals:

But I can be the one to hold on
I just need to know for how long
(Ooh) I’ve been waiting for lightning to strike
(Ooh) I’ve been waiting for lightning to strike

“‘Waiting For Lightning’ was a song that started pouring out of me late one night,” Parks tells Atwood Magazine. “I remember sitting in my room with my guitar and this visual of lightning kept coming to my mind. At its core, this song is about feeling like you are waiting for something so rare and spectacular. It’s about setting the fear of the unknown aside and stepping out into the storm. It’s about holding on despite challenges that arise. We hope this song can be a reminder to hold on to hope and to not let go of the things that matter most to you.”

We hope this song can be a reminder to hold on to hope and to not let go of the things that matter most to you.

The National Parks © McKenna Chatterley

The National Parks © McKenna Chatterley



Especially during this time of uncertainty and fear – we are in the midst of a global pandemic, after all – a song like “Waiting for Lightning” feels particularly special and relevant. It’s about holding onto our hope and letting something outside of ourselves to believe in; it’s about finding inspiration and submitting oneself to powers beyond our control. It’s about believing that tomorrow can be a better day, and that the best is yet to come.

In adding The National Parks’ 2019 standalone single “I Can Feel It” to our Editor’s Picks, I praised it as “a driving, carefree anthem that breathes in the immediate energy of the present… I have a soft spot for big, bashful folk pop anthems, and for years this Utah band have delivered songs that engage and excite.” Parks and co. have delivered yet another anthem in “Waiting for Lightning,” but this time around they sound driven by a deeper purpose – not in a ‘higher cause’ way, but in a sobering, reflective manner that echoes our innate need to feel connected, understood, and loved.

I want to know where to go to find
The place where the eyes and the mind meet
Where the charge in the sky meets this ground of mine
Yeah a flash of your light is all I need



Originally slated for an April release date, Wildflower was meant to release around The National Parks’ first-ever curated festival experience, Superbloom Music Festival (scheduled to begin April 25th at Zion National Park). Both the album and the festival’s dates have since been shifted due to COVID-19, with the album out June 19, 2020, and the festival set to take place on August 15, 2020 (tickets here).

For now, we have the wide-eyed musical fire of “Waiting for Lightning” to keep us warm and out of darkness’ reach. Stream The National Parks’ dazzling new injection of hope and possibility, exclusively on Atwood Magazine!

I’m in the storm my arms are stretched
I’m standing here please don’t forget
I’ve been waiting for lightning to strike
My heart’s a key tied to a string
Up on a kite what will it bring
I’ve been waiting for lightning
I’m waiting for lightning
I’m waiting for lightning to strike
“Waiting for Lightning” – The National Parks



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Mitch Mosk

Mitch is the Editor-in-Chief of Atwood Magazine and a 2014 graduate from Tufts University, where he pursued his passions of music and psychology. He currently works at Universal Music Group in New York City. In his off hours, Mitch may be found songwriting, wandering about one of New York's many neighborhoods, or writing an article on your next favorite artist for Atwood. Mitch's words of wisdom to fellow musicians and music lovers are thus: Keep your eyes open and never stop exploring. No matter where you go, what you do or who you are with, you can always learn something new and inspire something amazing. Say hi here: mitch[at]atwoodmagazine[dot]com