One day in the not-so-distant future, Arlo Parks will be considered one of the great English singer-songwriters and artists. Not just her generation but throughout the UK’s pop culture history. The London-based artist’s talents lie in the same stratosphere as Lauren Hill, Neneh Cherry, Lana Del Rey, and Hope Sandoval. She may not be a household name at this time, but it’s only a matter of time before everyone knows the 19-year old’s name. Her single, “Cola”, was gorgeous and smart while her Sophie EP featured five immersive, relatable, and brilliant tracks. For her first effort of the new decade, she exhibits all the characteristics of why we think she will be a star.
“Eugene” is a beautifully complicated song. It is a smooth blend of ’90s R&B and pop, reminiscent of the music of the late Aaliyah and Craig David. Parks’ calm and cool delivery recalls the aforementioned Hill, and her songwriting is as vividly personal as Del Rey’s poetic artistry. She shares her deepest emotions, specifically having feelings for a close friend. As she keeps the secret to herself, her friend is involved with a man named Eugene. He is the wall between the two.
“We’ve been best buds since thirteen,
I’ll hold your head back when you’re too lean,
I’ll hold the Taco Bell and you’ll cry over Eugene,
He was mean, he was mean.
Hey, I know I’ve been a little bit off, and that’s my mistake.
I kind of fell half in love, and you’re to blame.
I guess I just forgot that we’ve been mates since day,
Yet I don’t know what to say.”
The video below displays the relationship Parks has with her friend and where Eugene interrupts. It’s a beautifully complicated song and video, which was shot by British rapper Loyle Carner and his brother Ryan. For a bit of trivia, Parks has been reading Sylvia Plath since she was a young child. She has also immersed herself in the literary works of Ginsberg, Jim Morrison, Nayyirah Waheed, and Haruki Murakami, and she’s written a series of fantasy stories. Parks is an immense talent.
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