She is called a "voice of a generation". Those are big words but if anyone can live up to them it's probably Arlo Parks.
The 21-year-old, West London-based musician and poet speaks with a voice that all young people can relate to. Life is an emotional rollercoaster, no doubt about that. Parks sings about both the infatuations and about being down in the dumps.
She wraps it all up in an exciting mix of bedroom pop and indie soul.
In 2021, she released her debut album, Collapsed in Sunbeams (ah, what a title!), and it has made everyone swoon over her sound, approach and personality.
She has reaped countless many-starred raving reviews. Therefore, it also seemed like an obvious choice choosing Arlo Parks as the winner of the acclaimed Mercury Music Prize in 2021. With this award comes a prophecy that you will rise to great fame. Just ask past winners such as Skepta and Arctic Monkeys. Her fan group includes names such as Billie Eilish and Elton John, by the way.
Arlo Park's music feel very timely. It's like a warm hug and an assurance that everything is going to be ok when the world seems darkest and out of control. She calls herself an ‘empath’ – someone deeply attuned to other people’s feelings – and she has been lauded for writing about sexual identity, queer desire, mental health and body image. Her sound has a deceptively soothing nature with groove-along neo-soul, beats, acoustic guitar and that honeyed voice. You really can find beauty in pain, and Arlo Parks’ songs are loving reminders to embrace our emotional turbulence.
Who would think that all this intimacy built up on record could seemingly effortlessly be moved onto a live stage? Arlo Parks’ singing often has a conversational style – as if she’s confiding in you directly. She plays with a full band behind her, and the relatively downbeat songs get a refreshing live treatment that makes her songs true feet-wrigglers.
This massive talent has only just begun in ascending towards the stars. Catch Arlo Parks on the way up when she performs at Roskilde Festival 2022.