Photo Credit to British Vogue
Article by Rikki Red
Arlo Parks, a 20-year-old poet-turned-musician from West London, released the official lyric video for her song "Caroline" last month. As someone who also dabbles in poetry and music, I've been obsessed with Arlo's style and tone since I first heard it. Something about the indie soul vibes she brings forward in her songs draws me in and captivates me.
In a previous piece with The Guardian, she said, “I realised that what I loved was descriptive writing rather than something with a plot,” she says. “My attention span was quite short and I just wanted to use a lot of beautiful words. When I read a poem like Howl, or Lady Lazarus by Sylvia Plath, I felt myself being moved – I wanted to do that for other people.” This comment comes across in all of her music, the point being made clear whilst verbiage being used that makes you feel as though you witnessed firsthand what she's singing about. Honestly, it almost feels like she's singing about your own experience, not hers.
In the Official Lyric Video (shared below) for Caroline, I love that the focus is solely on Arlo and that the words she's singing are broken down into lines just like they'd be in a spoken-word poem.
"Eyes so bright with disappointment I
Saw something inside her break
Everybody knows the feeling"
Although I'm only six years older than Arlo, I find myself often feeling a disconnect from younger generations. Parks brings me back to the understanding that when I was around her age, I felt disconnected even from people my age. It's easy to feel like you're alone in the ways that you feel, especially as an empath (something that Arlo and I share in common). Songs like these, with lyrics that pull you in and force you to remember memories of your own, are a great reminder that no matter what age we are, we all truly do connect.
When she sang "shards of glass live in this feeling," I could fully remember a time when I dropped to my knees in agony and it literally felt as though shards of glass physically filled my body. There's a sinking feeling attached to moments like this that you can't really explain easily with words, but Arlo does a great job at reminding you that it exists - and that we all experience it, regardless of who we are.
If you're looking for someone whose words make you stop and think and feel, I highly suggest checking out Arlo's work.
PREORDER debut LP ‘Collapsed In Sunbeams’ here: https://arloparks.ffm.to/collapsedinsunbeams
Follow Arlo Parks: