Listen to Arlo Parks’ New Single, “Softly”

Music News Arlo Parks
Listen to Arlo Parks’ New Single, “Softly”

London singer/songwriter and 2021 Mercury Prize winner Arlo Parks is back, and she comes bearing gifts: namely, a lovely new single, “Softly.” It marks her first new release since her critically acclaimed debut album Collapsed in Sunbeams (which was one of Paste‘s favorite albums of 2021), and it arrives with an equally lovely video directed by filmmaking duo Zhang and Knight.

Striking the balance of smooth melodies entwined with subtle instrumental flourishes and poetic lyrics that have all become Parks staples, “Softly” picks right up where the best of Collapsed in Sunbeams left off. Even as each chorus demands that you “break it to me softly,” Parks delivers her lyrics with such tenderness that you can tell she would rather you not have to do it at all: “Oh, I forgot myself / I don’t want no one else.” It feels appropriate to dance along even as the track is breaking your heart, getting right to the center of what has made Parks so exciting to watch with each new release.

“’Softly’ is a song about yearning, about how fragile you feel in the dying days of a relationship when you’re still desperately in love,” Parks shared in a statement. “The song is about how it feels to brace yourself before the blow of a break up and reminisce about the days where it all felt luminous.”

In the same press release, Zhang and Knight talked about the creative process behind the song’s video:

For us, “Softly” explored the idea of wanting something that was once perfect to end in a gentle way, and we wanted to express this using the world surrounding Arlo. We were instinctively drawn to the warm toned, hazy nostalgia of the 1960’s, as we loved the idea of something universally romantic being slowly stripped away throughout the film. We based the colors of the bricks, trims and doors on mid-century painting in order to bake this romanticism into everything. The production itself was a huge challenge, as everything was captured in-camera with each piece of the set built on wheels operated by several production crew. However, we knew it was all worth it when we saw the skyscrapers dancing around Arlo for the first time.

While there’s no word on a second album yet, Parks has a full touring schedule ahead of her for the remainder of the year, including an extensive North American tour with Clairo in the spring, and one-off shows supporting both Harry Styles and Billie Eillish in June.

Check out the video for “Softly” below, and keep scrolling for a full list of Parks’ 2022 tour dates. You can find tickets for all dates here.

Arlo Parks Tour Dates:

16 – Charlotte, NC @ The Fillmore Charlotte*
17 – Nashville, TN @ Ryman Auditorium*
19 – Washington, DC @ The Fillmore Silver Spring*
20 – Silver Spring, MD @ The Fillmore*
21 – Norfolk, VA @ The NorVa*
22 – Richmond, VA @ The National*
24 – New York, NY @ Radio City Music Hall*
26 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Fillmore Philadelphia*
27 – Boston, MA @ House of Blues Boston*
28 – Boston, MA @ House of Blues Boston*

02 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Roxian Theater*
03 – Columbus, OH @ KEMBA Live!*
05 – Indianapolis, IN @ Egyptian Room*
07 – Cleveland, OH @ Agora Ballroom*
08 – Detroit, MI @ The Fillmore Detroit*
10 – Chicago, IL @ Riviera Theatre*
11 – Chicago, IL @ Riviera Theatre*
17 – Minneapolis, MN @ The Fillmore*
18 – Minneapolis, MN @ Fillmore Minneapolis*
20 – Denver, CO @ Fillmore Auditorium*
23 – Seattle, WA @ Paramount Theater*
25 – Portland, OR @ Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall*
28 – Las Vegas, NV @ House of Blues*
30 – San Francisco, CA @ Nob Hill Masonic*
31 – Oakland, CA @ Fox Theater*

02 – Los Angeles, CA @ Greek Theatre*
05 – Tempe, AZ @ Marquee Theatre*
07 – Dallas, TX @ South Side Ballroom*
09 – Austin, TX @ ACL*
10 – Houston, TX @ Bayou Music Center*
15-17 – Indio, CA @ Coachella
22-24 – Indio, CA @ Coachella

04 – Leeds, UK @ Live at Leeds
05 – Paris, FR @ We Love Green 2022
10 – Gräfenhainichen, DE @ Melt Festival 2022
17 – Manchester, TN @ Bonaroo Music and Arts Festival 2022
22 – Dublin, IE @ Aviva Stadium+
25 – London, UK @ The O2 Arena^
30 – Vilnius, LT @ Lukiskiu Kalejimas 2.0

01 – Roskilde, DK @ Roskilde Festival
10 – Madrid, ES @ Espacio Mad Cool
12 – London, UK @ Somerset House

09 – Melbourne, AU @ 170 Russell
11 – Brisbane, AU @ The Tivoli
13 – Sydney, AU @ Metro Theatre
16 – Paredes De Coura, PT @ Praia do Taboão

02 – Co, Laois, IR @ Electric Picnic

(* = with Clairo)
(+ = with Harry Styles)
(^ = with Billie Eilish)

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