Thursday, June 08, 2023

Arlo Parks releases her long-awaited dreamy second album ‘My Soft Machine’

One of the most talented and inspirational artists in recent years, Arlo Parks releases her second studio album ‘My Soft Machine’ filled with peaceful vocals and soulful lyrics. 

The 22-year-old singer/songwriter from London rose to fame in 2019 via BBC Introducing with the release of her debut EP ‘Super Sad Generation’ followed by the heart-wrenching single ‘Black Dog’ in 2020. 

Her vulnerability and companionship in her songs resonate with fans giving her massive support from all over the world.  

The record opens with indistinct noises, almost sounding like sirens and children playing before Arlo’s soft voice enters your ears singing about how she wishes she was ‘Bruiseless’ and how abuse is a common theme that enters her life. To be so open in the first track of the record shows Arlo’s beautiful honesty. 

The summery sounds of ‘Impurities’ relates to the message of this song. ‘‘You notice beauty in more forms than most’’ is a lyric that stands out in this song for being so simple yet, so heart-warming which Arlo is a genius at doing. The Japanese sounds in the background of this track combined with Arlo’s angelic vocals give the song a spring and sunny atmosphere, even though her lyrics approach hard-hitting subjects like abuse which is carried on from ‘Bruiseless’ into this track. The juxtaposition she creates throughout all her records is phenomenal.  

Her latest single from this album ‘Blades’ is a groovy one that sounds like it has some 80’s inspiration with the electronic sounds being at the forefront of the tune. Arlo’s unshielded openness with topics such as love is prominent in this track with repeated lyrics ‘‘I only want to be with you’’ which is similar to her first single from this record ‘Weightless’. Her poetry in her lyrics is what Arlo is so loved for and lyrics in this track are perfect examples of her talent. ‘‘There are sandflies in my champagne’’ signifies that something starts off amazing but with time something spoils the amazingness which is pure songwriting genius.  

‘Pegasus’ featuring fellow dreamy artist Phoebe Bridgers is a progressive indie track filled with loving guitar playing and perfect harmonies.  The dancey/electric instrument playing alongside Arlo and Phoebe’s positively sad sounds makes this track a real standout on the whole record.  

On the following track, Arlo’s album goes down a more guitar-heavy and western-sounding road. Introducing hazy synths and obvious guitar playing makes the music more distinguished than the vocals on this song which is something we haven’t heard from Arlo in a while.  

‘Puppy’ is one of the most intriguing and different-sounding songs on this album. The broken electronic noises throughout this song immerse the listener into a scientific eery atmosphere which is something we aren’t used to when listening to Arlo’s music. Her never-ending talent of being able to make such unique music and sounds get more mind-blowing as you go through this album. The next track ‘I’m Sorry’  has a deep jazz element to it from the high-pitched keys and dark bass to the echoes on Arlo’s vocals.  

‘My Soft Machine’ is a record containing so many different sounds that all blend together by the beautiful and blissful vocals of Arlo Parks. Her constant showcase of talent to music shines again in this charming record. 

Alice Mason

Instagram: @alicemxson / @alicegoestogigs 

Image: ‘My Soft Machine’  Official Album Cover 

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