Arlo Parks today releases 'My Soft Machine', an album that narrates her experiences as she navigates her 20’s and the growth intertwined.
My Soft Machine is a deeply personal body of work; a narration of Parks’ experiences as she navigates her 20’s and the growth intertwined. It was recorded between London and Los Angeles, with the producers Paul Epworth, Ariel Rechtshaid, Romil Hemnani (Brockhampton), Frank Ocean-collaborator Buddy Ross and Carter Lang (SZA) – as well as some self-production from Arlo herself.
Explained ever-articulately in her own words below, you can also watch this beautiful performance video to learn more about the coming record and the themes within.
“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 as a young film student 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, the record is called….My Soft Machine.” – Arlo Parks
Ahead of the release of the second album, Arlo Parks shared single ‘Devotion’. Driven by smooth guitar riffs and a steady drum pattern, the song paints a vivid picture of an intense burning love. The single follows previously released ‘Blades’, ‘Weightless’, ‘Impurities’, and ‘Pegasus’, featuring close friend and collaborator Phoebe Bridgers.
Speaking about this new single, Arlo says “Devotion to me is a song about feeling so in love it’s almost like being ripped apart, there’s an intensity, a wildness and a tenderness. This is one of my favourite songs I’ve ever made, it draws from the bands that made me fall in love with music from Deftones to Yo La Tengo to Smashing Pumpkins to My Bloody Valentine.”
It is accompanied by an Ali Raymond and Joel Barney (Sonder Films) directed visual, about which she comments “The music video for Devotion had to feel sweaty and nostalgic and loose. The surreal bluish hue, the sense of feral joy in the performance, the blur and the band – I wanted to pay homage to 90s rock music and the notion of loving so hard it almost destroys you”.
Watch the ‘Devotion’ music video:
My Soft Machine will be the follow-up to Arlo’s critically-acclaimed and award-winning debut Collapsed in Sunbeams; a record which received two Grammy nominations for Best New Artist and Best Alternative Music Album, won the BRIT Award for Best New Artist, received the Hyundai Mercury Prize, and won the BBC Introducing Artist Of The Year Award. Her debut album also reached the top 3 on the UK Album Charts and won the AIM Awards for Best Independent Album and UK Independent Breakthrough. On top of all this, Arlo was also nominated for Breakthrough International Act at the BET Awards, was named as the youngest ever high-profile supporter of UNICEF and an ambassador for the British mental health charity, CALM. She has plans to continue her extensive work with both charities into 2023.
Along with the towering awards garnered last year, Arlo’s debut album was included on almost every ‘Best Albums of 2021’ list and received critical acclaim from the likes of The Guardian, Rolling Stone, NME, The FADER and many more. Arlo performed singles from her debut album on Later…With Jools Holland and The Graham Norton Show in the UK. She also performed on Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, James Corden, CBS This Morning: Saturday, and Ellen DeGeneres in the US.
Her songwriting has seen her gain new fans in Billie Eilish, Florence Welch, Michelle Obama, Angel Olsen, Phoebe Bridgers, Massive Attack and renowned writer Zadie Smith, amongst many others.
Arlo Parks recently announced she will embark on a run of headline tour dates across the UK and Europe for September, which includes a show at London’s Eventim Apollo. Additionally, she will play a run of record store performances, previewing some songs from the new album and signing some copies for fans. Tickets are now sold out. The forthcoming dates follow Arlo’s headline performance at BBC 6 Music Festival last month, as well as performances alongside Harry Styles at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Billie Eilish at The O2 London, Florence & The Machine in Canada, and Clairo across her North American tour.
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