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Arlo Parks
My Soft Machine

Transgressive Records

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$39.00 SGD
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$39.00 SGD


UK pop prodigy's second album provides plush armor against life's slings and arrows. 

On first listen, the second album from London singer-songwriter Arlo Parks sounds like something to luxuriate in; Parks sings and lays down poetry over plush textures and simmering beats. But a closer listen reveals that these pillowy structures are, in fact, cushions against the blows of modern life—bulwarks that keep Parks’ self, the “soft machine” referenced in the album title, moving without cutting herself off or suffering too much long-term damage.

Parks is a pop prodigy; she got noticed by a management company as a teen and won the 2021 Mercury Prize with her debut album Collapsed in Sunbeams, which came out when she was months away from turning 21. That album’s blend of bedroom-pop sensibilities and intricately detailed lyrics felt very in tune with the homespun vibes of the early pandemic, even as the experiences described by Parks’ supple, soothing voice possessed a depth that indicated boundless curiosity.

"My Soft Machine" expands that sonic palette while also digging in deeper emotionally—even when Parks is describing the ways in which she tries to numb out. “I wish I was bruiseless,” she mumurs on the album’s dreamy opener, rueing her own lost innocence while regretting her powerlessness against shielding others from malevolent forces, including all the complex, not-always-positive feelings tied up in the word “love.” 

Parks’ second album shows her hyper-real point of view, seizing on details in a way to figure out her place in the world, one where she can feel pure joy while bracing herself and her loved ones against life’s slings and arrows. — (via Rolling Stone)

Label: Transgressive Records
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Country: Worldwide
Released: May 26, 2023
Genre: Funk / Soul, Pop
Style: Soul, Neo Soul, Alt-Pop

File under: Funk / Soul