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HNAF (Hot New Album Fridays): Soulful Pop | Arlo Parks – ‘My Soft Machine’

  • May 26, 2023
  • 4 min read
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HNAF (Hot New Album Fridays): Soulful Pop | Arlo Parks – ‘My Soft Machine’

Arlo parks, soul, pop music, my soft machine

My Soft Machine is a brilliant soulful, pop, psych, tour de force. It’s easy to get lost in this melodic and beautifully produced album by Arlo Parks. A cohesive blend of psychedelia, soul, pop and stimulating synths. This is one of the few albums that has come out in the past 2 years where we can say every track is our favorite track. Parks has delivered a captivating album and we rate this a 10/10!

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Arlo Parks celebrates the release of her highly anticipated album, My Soft Machine, out today via Transgressive Records. This deeply personal body of work takes listeners on a captivating journey through Parks’ experiences in her early 20s. The album features previously released singles “Blades,” “Weightless,” “Impurities,” “Devotion,” and “Pegasus,” a delicate and beautiful ballad created in collaboration with her close friend and acclaimed musician Phoebe Bridgers.

My Soft Machine marks a significant milestone in the twice Grammy-nominated, Mercury Prize, and BRIT Award-winning artists already illustrious career. The album is a testament to her growth as an artist, showcasing her unique storytelling ability and introspective lyricism. Recorded between London and Los Angeles, the album features an impressive roster of producers including Paul Epworth, Ariel Rechtshaid, Romil Hemnani (Brockhampton), Buddy Ross (known for collaborations with Frank Ocean), Carter Lang (known for working with SZA), and self-production from Arlo herself. Leading into the release Arlo has graced the covers of Paste Magazine, GQ Hype, The Guardian Film & Music, DORK, MusicWeek, DIY and Gay Times.

Parks shares about how the new album and album title came to fruition in this beautiful performance video noting: “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.”

My Soft Machine follows her highly-praised debut album Collapsed in Sunbeams, which received two Grammy nominations for Best New Artist and Best Alternative Music Album, won the BRIT Award for Best New Artist, received the Honda Mercury Prize, and won the BBC Introducing Artist Of The Year Award. Her debut album also reached the top 3 on the UK Album Charts and won the AIM Awards for Best Independent Album and UK Independent Breakthrough. On top of all this, Arlo was also nominated for Breakthrough International Act at the BET Awards. Arlo was named as the youngest ever high-profile supporter of UNICEF and an ambassador for UK mental health charity CALM. She has plans to continue her extensive work with both charities.

Listen to My Soft Machine above and check out Arlo’s upcoming live dates below.
Upcoming Tour Dates:
* = SOLD OUT

5/24 – Kingston, UK @ Pryzm w/ Banquet Records (intimate outstore performance, early show – 5pm)
5/24 – Kingston, UK @ Pryzm w/ Banquet Records (intimate outstore performance)*
5/29 – London, UK – Rough Trade East, Early Show (in-store performance + signing)*
5/29 – London, UK – Rough Trade East, Late Show (in-store performance + signing)*
6/14 – Leeds, UK – The Wardrobe w/ Crash Records (intimate outstore performance)*
6/14 – Leeds, UK – The Wardrobe w/ Crash Records (intimate outstore performance, late show – 9pm)*

7/5 – Tokyo, Japan @ Ebisu Garden Hall*
7/6 – Osaka, Japan @ Umeda Club Quattro
7/8 – Seoul, South Korea @ Musinsa Garage

7/14 – New Plymouth, New Zealand @ Night Light Festival
7/17 – Melbourne, Australia @ Forum
7/20 – Sydney, Australia @ Sydney Opera House
7/22 – Byron Bay, Australia @ Splendour In The Grass
7/23 – Adelaide, Australia @ The Gov
7/25 – Perth, Australia @ Astor Theatre

8/5 – Oxfordshire, UK @ Wilderness Festival
8/26 – Reading, UK @ Reading Festival
8/27 – Leeds, UK @ Leeds Festival
9/5 – Dublin, Ireland @ 3Olympia Theatre
9/13 – Amsterdam, Netherlands @ Paradiso
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

10/1 – Washington, DC @ All Things Go Festival

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About Author

Chris Ryan

Chris Ryan is an accomplished promoter, event planner, producer, activist, counselor, poet and blogger. Within the course of two and a half years Chris Ryan has worked with some of NYC's most established promoters/event planners, been named 2007′s GaySocialite of the year, granted a promoter of the year award from NYC's most famous gay establishment, Splash. He's worked in some of NYC's top venues including; Avalon, Capitale, Cipriani, Cielo, Pacha, Element, Le Poisson Rouge, XL, G Lounge, Plumm, Hilton Hotel, Indigo Hotel, Spirit, Myst/Quo, Splash, The Ritz, Vlada, Roseland Ballroom, Heaven, etc. In 2008, Chris Ryan has begun to unveil some of the most innovative & unique parties New York City has ever seen. The Fusion events "fuse" together all disciplines of art into an event that remains diverse yet cohesive at the same time. ChrisRyanNYC.com won best gay promotions website from NYC Event Patrons in 2008 & he was granted an award from the Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club, Gov. Patterson & Michelle Clunie (QAF) saluting him for his hard work in nightlife. Chris Ryan has also begun working with many renown companies, including; doctors, lawyers, physicians, modeling agencies & more. Chris Ryan has been responsible for wide-scale promotions for all these companies & generating tremendous business. Chris Ryan has even started to become National with events taking place in LA & Miami this year. In May of 2009 Chris Ryan received the very prestigious honor of being named a "40 Under 40″ Gays in America by the Advocate Magazine. He also created three successful parties that generated over 1,500 patrons each. In January of 2010 Chris Ryan was featured as one of the top promoters to look out for in Noize Magazine Chris Ryan joined forces with legendary promoter/event producer, Lee Chappell and created one of the most talked about events of all 2010, Desire @ Capitale. Chris Ryan and Lee featured one of the most outstanding artists NYC has ever seen, "Oh Land." Her performance coupled with an exquisite and unforgettable set design added to this extravagant event that held over 1,000 patrons in one of NYC's most successful PRIDE events! Chris Ryan then joined forces with legendary Pacha promoter, Rob Fernandez in addition to Jake Resnicow and Tommy Marinelli to bring one of the largest and most successful parties worldwide to NYC, MATINEE. The event on Governor's Island saw over 2,000+ attendees and one of the most ambitious productions ever. In 2011 Chris Ryan started Emerge Music Promotions with business partner Darren Melchiorre. Emerge Music promotions began signing artists with plans to develop and market the artists to the community at large. Emerge Music promotions has big events planned for 2012 and 2013. Chris Ryan debuted the IMAGE events which took place on top of two of NYC's most beautiful rooftop venues, Rare View and Indigo Hotel. The events were blogged everywhere and featured the fashion designs of several clothing designers, artists and photographers. Chris Ryan felt that fashion and art should be displayed at every event and attracted the likes of Malan Breton, Calvin Klein and even Katy Perry. Chris Ryan began an extremely successful event which incorporated the concept of a house party into a nightclub atmosphere. The event Twist'D at G Lounge has been one of the most talked about events in NYC and allows it's audience to play nearly-naked Twister, beer pong, flip cup & more with other attendees. Chris Ryan was granted an excellence in volunteering award from AVP (Anti-Violence Project) for all his efforts in supporting the organization. 2013 has a very promising landscape on the horizon and Chris Ryan is complacent in saying "you haven't seen anything yet!"

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