May 25, 2023

Arlo Parks - "Devotion"

Arlo Parks is set to release her sophomore record My Soft Machine tomorrow, but today she's shared one last explosive single called "Devotion" to set the hype into overdrive.

On her debut album Collapsed In Sunbeams, Arlo Parks mixed groovy R&B with lush pop to create something that felt uniquely her own, mixing intriguing lyrics with a fundamental sound that could easily establish her as one of the strongest voices in the next generation of singer-songwriters. So far, the singles leading up to her new album paint a similar picture. However, today she's shared one last single and it's a bit of a left turn. "Devotion" is a full-on rock song that features heavy bass and pulsating guitar lines that erupt with magical shoegaze powers. According to Parks, "This is one of my favourite songs I've ever made, it draws from the bands that made me fall in love with music from Deftones to Yo La Tengo to Smashing Pumpkins to My Bloody Valentine." Prior to hearing this song, I never would've pictured those bands as any kind of influence on the music Arlo has released, but after the crushing surge of guitars, it couldn't be more apparent that this was indeed the sound she was searching to create for this number and the result hits hard. Being surprised by an artist can often come with consequences, but the surprise here is one that is rewarded with extreme riches and a transcendent payoff. The wall of distortion slams into the song with absolute force, hitting like a tidal wave and knocking everything into total, perfect chaos. "'Devotion' to me is a song about feeling so in love it's almost like being ripped apart, there's an intensity, a wildness and a tenderness," she says and through this song a true sense sublime virtue comes into full view and Parks delivers something unlike we've heard from her before, and it's an absolute triumph.

My Soft Machine is out May 26.

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