REVIEW: Arlo Parks, Collapsed in Sunbeams

REVIEW: Arlo Parks, Collapsed in Sunbeams
Arlo Parks, Collapsed in Sunbeams (Transgressive)

At only 20 years of age, musician/poet Arlo Parks boasts a sound that would take other artists years to fully pin down. Her unique twist on indie rock, bedroom pop and spoken-word poetry is on full display on this highly anticipated debut LP. The young Brit weaves influences from genres like funk, soul, folk, trip hop and jazz. Traces of artists as diverse as Portishead, the Cure, Lily Allen, Erykah Badu and Nujabes (even name-dropping the late Japanese beatmaker on “For Violet”) can also be heard throughout. Parks showcases her knack for catchy melodies and frank storytelling, with a voice that’s essentially a Billie Eilish/Martina Topley-Bird hybrid. Tracks like the previously released “Black Dog” and “Green Eyes,” as well as the excellent album closer “Portra 400,” tackle subject matter like depression, same-sex relationships and drug use in visceral, intimate detail. Parks would be an even better artist if she would let loose and experiment a bit more, but Collapsed in Sunbeams is a strong statement of intent from this young West Londoner. 8/10

“Black Dog” from Collapsed in Sunbeams by Arlo Parks

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