NOW PLAYING: 'MY SOFT MACHINE' BY ARLO PARKS...
Parks is a young, British indie pop singer who does a mean line in thoughtful, personal songs delivered through her light, delicate voice. This new record is Parks’ follow-up to her monster debut album, ‘Collapsed In Sunbeams’ which came out a couple of years ago.
’Sunbeams’ was released mid-pandemic and contained a lot of songs dealing with mental health issues and isolation which captured the mood at the time for a lot of people. It went on to be nominated for two Grammys, a couple of Brit Awards and it won the Mercury Music Prize.
I was looking forward to getting my hands on the new record so much that I pre-ordered in January before hearing a single track from it.
Upon first listen, this release doesn’t hit me as much as her debut did. That’s not to say this is a bad album, far from it, it just feels like a lighter, poppier record than her debut.
There are signs that Parks is trying to push the envelope on this release, from hip hop beats of ‘Bruiseless’, to the wonky keys on ‘Impurities’ and the guitar-heavy crescendo of ‘Devotion’. The record feels like evolution when I suspect she was going for revolution.
‘My Soft Machine’ definitely benefits from multiple listens, each time the record reveals a little more, hopefully in time I’ll love it as much as ‘Sunbeams’.
If you fancy picking up a copy, it is available on green vinyl from your friendly independent record shop for about £22, or on this clear vinyl from Parks’ official website for a quid more.
Tracks To Try: ‘Impurities’, ‘Devotion’, ‘Purple Phase’, ‘Weightless’, ‘Dog Rose’, ‘Room (Red Wings).