Presenting…Arlo Parks

Photograph: Chris Almeida

A Happy New Year to readers!

Last month, I managed to write fourteen posts, the most I had done in a calendar month in over four years. I am going to try and keep this up more frequently. Amazingly, the blog will be fourteen years old in July…

Flicking around earlier, I came across the BBC Sound Of 2020 longlist (you can check it out here if you’re so inclined). Giving Arlo Parks a listen, I was really pretty impressed by what this nineteen year old Londoner has to offer, such as the recent five track Sophie EP:

Much of the best art is made by outsiders; the Guardian quoted her as saying she was ‘a black kid who can’t dance for shit, listens to emo music and currently has a crush on some girl in my Spanish class.’

Her music draws on many sources and influences (not all of them musical, either), and seems to be being pitched as somewhere between hip-hop and emo. To these ears, there’s much in common that might classify it as soul, too, or maybe we all need to step away from the categorisations before the artistry at work gets ignored. The reality ios that Arlo Parks is very special and very distinctive. Are you paying attention?

To date she’s released two EPs, Super Sad Generation and Sophie, both in 2019, and the (very) limited vinyl releases are already changing hands for big money over on Discogs.

She’ll be touring for the first in March (see here for dates and tickets), including a date at Glasgow King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut on March 10.

If you’ve only got a limited amount of time, watch this – then track down the two EPs.