Photo: Charlie Cummings
Arlo Parks kickstarts the new decade singing about a topic we often keep to ourselves. In her new single, “Eugene,” Parks “explores the agony, jealousy, and confusion that comes to light when the lines between platonic and romantic love blur.”
“Eugene” has an incredibly confessional and tender feel, as if we are watching Parks admit for the first time these feelings for her best friend. With the release of this song, Parks is not only giving us look into her diary but also revealing a new layer of vulnerability to her music.
Parks’ vocals sound like the smooth marriage of voices like Jorja Smith and Alina Baraz. Though she describes herself as super sensitive and “uncool,” Parks’ music blends the ambient melodic style of Portishead and drum sounds reminiscent of Earl Sweatshirt, all topped off with the honest lyrics of Loyle Carner to create a sound that screams cool.
Carner‘s influence on Parks does not stop at lyricism; Carner was the first artist Parks ever saw live. This came full circle when Carner and his brother directed the music video for “Eugene,” which looks like the visual extension of the torn out pages of a diary entry.
From the release of her first single, “Cola,” in 2018 to gifting us with “Eugene,” Parks’ has maintained a seamless balance of personal lyrics, euphonious progressions, and catchy backbeats. We cannot wait to catch her on tour this year.
Watch the “Eugene” video below: