Meet the bisexual musician set to be this year’s biggest breakthrough act 

BY SOPHIE GRIFFITHS, IMAGE BY CHRIS ALMEIDA

At just 19, bisexual London-based musician Arlo Parks has pretty swiftly awed audiences and music industry professionals alike with her strikingly confessional lyrics and silky smooth vocals. 

Intertwining real-life struggles with melancholic and uplifting tunes, she’s solidified her spot on the soundtrack of young queer audiences, the soundtrack of a “Super Sad Generation” as her EP title suggests. 

Arlo’s early songwriting career was born from a place of friendship. She would write songs for her peers to cheer them up as they faced the pressures of the real world, balanced with pressure from parents. Her sharp lyrics get to the heart of the anxieties and concerns that most teenagers, particularly those within the queer community, feel about the wider world. 

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it’s about what happens when communication fractures hope you luv it. Bowls of stargazers and fragments of peace I fetch the guilt from the boy who was once fond of me It won’t come it won’t come Spotted your worry beads in Yara’s hand You could see that you’d hurt me but didn’t understand why I hold it against you each time Never thought you’d be intricately Braided Back into the soft core of me It’s cool, I’m in pain but I’m alive It’s cool forget the Ginsberg I traced down your spine Showed you in rainbows on your birthday week Caught you singing weird fishes so deep in your sleep I was touched, you denied every word Subtle evasions a delicate force I could see you were stressed every muscle was taut So the end came with grace I’m destroyed Never thought you’d be intricately Braided Back into the soft core of me It’s cool I’m in pain, but I’m alive It’s cool forget the Ginsberg that I traced down your spine It’s cool, I’m in pain but I’m alive It’s cool forget the Ginsberg I traced down your spine It’s cool, I’m in pain but I’m alive It’s cool forget the whispers and fragrant white wine

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In her words, she “spent most of school feeling like that black kid who couldn’t dance for shit listening to too much emotion music and crushing on some girl in her Spanish class.” 

Fast forward to now and Arlo’s ability to connect so profoundly through her lyrics has seen her hailed as one of the UK’s most exciting new talents. It’s her background and confidence in creative writing that really allow her words to flourish whether they’re spoken or sang. 

Arlo’s music video for the confessional and tender single Eugene was directed by one of her musical inspirations, Loyle Carner, she’s featured on singles with the likes of Easy Life and earned herself well over one million monthly listeners on Spotify. All eyes are on Arlo as we await her next move, we can’t wait to see what she’s got up her sleeve for the rest of 2020.

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