ARLO PARKS AT MIF21 - A TRIUMPHANT RETURN OF LIVE MUSIC
By Steve Cooke
A huge hit album, three Brit Award nominations, a sell-out US tour: Arlo Parks is going places – and came to Manchester for a two-night MIF21 special. What a fantastic show it was! How uplifting and moving to be back at a venue with real people enjoying live music.
An emotional Arlo Parks shared with us, ‘This is my first show in 19 months. Thanks so much for coming out to see us’.
A month before her 21st birthday, we were able to enjoy this brilliant young singer and poet with her excellent band, ‘we have been together since I was 17, I owe it all to these guys’. A string section from the Royal Northern College of Music added another dimension to the final 5 numbers and encore, ‘I wasn’t sure what to do, I haven’t played an encore before!’
Performing songs from Arlo’s excellent debut album Collapsed in Sunbeams and others it becomes clear that in her world, words are as useful as photographs. Luscious, expressive vignettes pepper the poetic lyrics in her sweet, ruminative indie pop songs. She is inspired by an eclectic mix of artists from Radiohead to Portishead, and Sufjan Stevens to Solange and she in turn is going to inspire many who follow her.
Arlo has also named Sylvia Plath and Joni Mitchell as among her influences.
SET LIST – Thursday 08 July, MIF21 at Manchester Central
Intro – Hurt
With Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM)
Super Sad Generation
Encore – Hope
Anaïs Oluwatoyin Estelle Marinho, known professionally as Arlo Parks, was born on 9 August 2000, and raised in Hammersmith, West London. Arlo is half Nigerian, quarter Chadian and quarter French.
Her debut studio album, Collapsed in Sunbeams, was released in 2021 to critical acclaim and peaked at number three on the UK Albums Chart. It earned her nominations for Album of the Year, Best New Artist and Best British Female Solo Artist at the 2021 Brit Awards.
She chose her stage name as a distinctive personal pseudonym, inspired by King Krule and Frank Ocean. In 2018, she began uploading demos to ‘BBC Music Introducing’. This caught the attention of radio presenters across the UK who distributed these demos to Ali Raymond of Beatnik Creative, who soon began managing her. Arlo made her solo debut when she released the song "Cola" through Beatnik Records in November 2018, and announced the release of her debut EP, Super Sad Generation. She explained that the song is "a reminder that betrayal is inevitable when it comes to pretty people that think flowers fix everything." By November 2019, the song had amassed over three million streams on Spotify.
Following the release of "Cola", Arlo signed to Transgressive Records. She released the title track of her upcoming EP, Super Sad Generation, in January 2019. Her third single, "Romantic Garbage", was released in March 2019, before the release of the full four-track EP, Super Sad Generation in early April 2019.The EP was recorded in her home in South West London and an Airbnb in the Angel district of London.
Arlo performed her first-ever gig at The Great Escape in Brighton in May 2019 and has gone on to perform on the BBC Music Introducing stage at Glastonbury Festival in late June 2019, as well as at Latitude Festival in July 2019.] She embarked on her first tour supporting Jordan Rakei on the UK leg of his tour in September 2019. Throughout the last half of 2019 she released the songs "George", "Second Guessing", "Sophie", and "Angel's Song"ahead of her second EP, Sophie.
She embarked on her first headlining tour of Europe in February and March 2020 but could not complete it due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In May 2020, Arlo released the singles "Eugene" and "Black Dog", which were well received during the COVID-19 lockdown, the latter of which became BBC Radio 1's Tune of the Week. She made the front cover of NME in late July 2020 and won the AIM Independent Music Award for One to Watch in 2020 in August 2020.
Arlo released her debut album, Collapsed in Sunbeams, on 29 January 2021.
On 12 February 2021, she was the music act on The Graham Norton Show singing ‘Caroline’. On 19 February 2021, Arlo was the main guest of Jools Holland on his BBC programme Later....
On 11 May, she won the Breakthrough Artist Award at the 2021 Brit Awards.