The pair teamed up for the Piano Session on Radio 1’s Chillest Show, hosted by Phil Taggart.
During the live performance, Bridgers and Parks performed ‘Kyoto’ from Bridgers’ latest album ‘Punisher’, as well as a cover of Radiohead’s ‘Fake Plastic Trees’. Speaking about teaming up with Parks, Bridgers said: “I can’t remember who sent Arlo to me initially but it was all I listened to for a couple of weeks, which is funny cos she doesn’t have that much music. I became a really big fan and we started DMing.
“She covered ‘Moon Song’ and I was like, ‘This is the coolest thing ever’ I was in London working on stuff and we went into a church and filmed us covering Radiohead and one of my songs.”
Asked what Parks brought to ‘Kyoto’, Bridgers replied: “The coolest thing about this version is that it highlights how sad it is. Also, Arlo’s voice is just so cool and it’s very different from mine so I think we complement each other a lot. It’s a really sad song. I initially wrote it as a ballad and it turned into an uptempo song, but when you read the lyrics it’s a really sad song.”
Speaking about why she chose to cover ‘Fake Plastic Trees’, Bridgers explained: “My first ever London show was at St Pancras Old Church and there were like 100 people there and I thought it would be cool to cover Radiohead.
“It was the first time that people really showed up specifically for me. It was before my album even was out. It was magical. I think it’s one of the best songs ever written.”
You can watch footage of the performance, which featured Parks on piano and both artists on vocals, above.
The cover follows Bridgers teaming up with Courtney Barnett last month to perform their own take on Gillian Welch’s ‘Everything Is Free’. The duo came together to share the new version as part of Newport Folk Festival’s virtual event.
Last month, Parks released her latest single ‘Hurt’, which detailed “the possibility of healing from pain and the temporary nature of suffering”. “It is supposed to uplift and comfort those going through hard times,” the musician said.
Speaking to NME in May, Parks revealed that she had been at work on her debut album during the coronavirus-enforced lockdown period.
“I’m trying to make it the best body of work that it can be,” she said. “The album format is really important to me, and in terms of the music that I’ve put out thus far, I feel like I have a sonic identity, but there’s variation in what I put out so far, so I do have scope to experiment and explore different styles within my debut album, which feels exciting.”