Brighter, bolder, and diving deeper than ever, the captivating singer-songwriter Arlo Parks returns with latest release My Soft Machine. This self-reflective and vulnerable record finds Parks broadly developing sonically as she processes her life as it’s happening since the release of 2021’s widely acclaimed and Grammy nominated Collapsed in Sunbeams. Parks explains the new work thusly, "The world/our view of it is peppered by the biggest things we experience - our traumas, upbringing, vulnerabilities – almost like visual snow. This record is life through my lens, through my body - the mid 20s anxiety, the substance abuse of friends around me, the viscera of being in love for the first time, navigating PTSD and grief and self sabotage and joy moving through worlds with wonder and sensitivity – what it’s like to be trapped in this particular body. There is a quote from a Joanna Hogg film called The Souvenir, it’s an A24 semi-autobiographical film with Tilda Swinton - it recounts a young film student falling in love with an older, charismatic man then being drawn into his addiction - in an early scene he’s explaining why people watch films - 'we don’t want to see life as it is played out we want to see life as it is experienced in this soft machine.' So there we have it... My Soft Machine.”
Park’s machine seems driven by poetry, opening track, the stanza “Bruiseless,” spares no harsh reality against the backbeat and sets us up for “Impurities,” Park’s ethereal vocals over lush Trip-Hop declaring, “I radiate like a star… When you embrace all my impurities…And I feel clean again.” “Blades” gives us a closer look into Parks’ ability to capture transformative feelings as they pass through ordinary moments, probing into what’s missing. Later, Phoebe Bridgers joins Parks on “Pegasus,” a song Parks describes as being, “about experiencing the warmth and lightness of good love for the first time. It also explores how the absence of chaos and the presence of real connection can be a little bit terrifying after a long time of not having it.”
Parks is set to embark on a world tour that begins and ends in her home city of London, and real connections with listeners are happening at stations nationwide such as Lightning 100, WFUV, KRVB, KRML, WAPS and many more.
Photo by Alex Waespi