Mar 01, 2023
By Mark Redfern
Photography by Alexandra Waespi
London-based singer Arlo Parks is releasing a new album, My Soft Machine, on May 28 via Transgressive. Now she has shared its second single, “Impurities,” via a music video. Jak Payne directed the video. Watch it below, followed by Parks’ upcoming tour dates.
Parks had this to say about “Impurities” in a press release: “This is a song about community… being around people who make you feel like your inner ugliness and failures and mistakes don’t matter, who lift you up and make you laugh, who make you feel good and clean.”
Of the video, she adds: “With this visualiser I really wanted to convey this atmospheric oscillation between solitude and companionship—I wanted to show how being around your people really does feel like coming home. When I was writing this song I had been thinking about Gus Van Sant a lot and how he captures people in all their fragility and beauty and ugliness—Jak was instrumental in creating/protecting that sense of softness.”
Previously Parks shared the album’s first single, “Weightless,” via a music video. “Weightless” was one of our Songs of the Week.
My Soft Machine is the follow-up to Parks’ acclaimed debut album, Collapsed in Sunbeams, released in January 2021 via Transgressive. That album won the Mercury Prize for the best British album of the year and landed high on our Top 100 Albums of 2021 list. My Soft Machine features Phoebe Bridgers on one song.
Of the new album and its title, Parks had this to say in a previous press release: “The world/our view of it is peppered by the biggest things we experience—our traumas, upbringing, vulnerabilities almost like visual snow. This record is life through my lens, through my body—the mid 20s anxiety, the substance abuse of friends around me, the viscera of being in love for the first time, navigating PTSD and grief and self sabotage and joy, moving through worlds with wonder and sensitivity—what it’s like to be trapped in this particular body. There is a quote from a Joanna Hogg film called The Souvenir, it’s an A24 semi-autobiographical film with Tilda Swinton—it recounts a young film student falling in love with an older, charismatic man then being drawn into his addiction—in an early scene he’s explaining why people watch films—‘we don’t want to see life as it is played out we want to see life as it is experienced in this soft machine.’ So there we have it… My Soft Machine.”
Read our review of Collapsed in Sunbeams here.
Read our interview with Parks about the album here.
Arlo Parks Tour Dates:
3/26 – Manchester, UK @ BBC 6 Music Festival
7/5 – Tokyo, Japan @ Ebisu Garden Hall
7/6 – Osaka, Japan @ Umeda Club Quattro
7/8 – Seoul, South Korea @ Musinsa Garage
8/5 – Oxfordshire, UK @ Wilderness Festival
8/26 – Reading, UK @ Reading Festival
8/27 – Leeds, UK @ Leeds Festival
9/5 – Dublin, Ireland @ 3Olympia Theatre
9/14 – Amsterdam, Netherlands @ Paradiso
9/15 – Brussels, Belgium @ Ancienne Belgique
9/17 – Berlin, Germany @ Huxleys Neue Welt
9/19 – Milan, Italy @ Alcatraz
9/21 – Paris, France @ L’Olympia
9/28 – London, UK @ Eventim Apollo