Arlo Parks shares lively, cathartic new single ‘Blades’

"I wanted to make something that I can dance to, finally"

Arlo Parks has shared her latest single ‘Blades’ from her forthcoming second album ‘My Soft Machine’. Check it out below.

The groove-laden track was produced by Paul Epworth (Adele, Florence and the Machine) and came to fruition during what Parks called “the magic week”.

“Paul is just a wizard; he has this childlike spirit that I’ve always really loved and he brought that to ‘Blades’,” she said. “I wanted to make something that I can dance to, finally, because I feel like my songs don’t really have that quality in general. So, I took inspiration from bands like ESG, artists like Kaytranada, and a lot of the kind of ’70s Zambian psychedelic rock that I love.”


‘Blades’ is about tackling the collapse of a friendship and trying to find the courage to rebuild it. “I imagine this moment at a party where you see someone across the room that you haven’t seen in a while, you felt yourself growing apart, and you’re like, should I, should I not? And then you find the courage to approach them. That’s the story of that song,” explained Parks.

This is the third single to be released for the Mercury Prize winners’ new album, following ‘Weightless’ and ‘Impurities’. ‘My Soft Machine’ has been described as “a deeply personal body of work; a narration of Parks’ experiences as she navigates her 20’s and the growth intertwined”.

It was recorded between London and Los Angeles, with the producers Paul Epworth, Ariel Rechtshaid, Romil Hemnani (Brockhampton), Frank Ocean-collaborator Buddy Ross and Carter Lang (SZA), as well as some self-production from Parks herself.

“The world/our view of it is peppered by the biggest things we experience – our traumas, upbringing, vulnerabilities almost like visual snow,” said Parks. “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.”

The singer also revealed that the album title comes from a piece of dialogue from the 2019 Joanna Hogg film The Souvenir. ‘My Soft Machine’ is set for release on May 26 via Transgressive.


Arlo Parks performs during the We Love Green Festival at Bois de Vincennes on June 05, 2022 in Paris, France (CREDIT: David Wolff-Patrick/Redferns).

The LP is a follow up to her 2021 Mercury prize winning and Grammy nominated debut ‘Collapsed In Sunbeams‘. In a five-star review of the album, NME shared: “Arlo Parks may be the voice of Gen Z, but there’s no doubt that this is a universal collection of stories that’ll provide solace for listeners of all ages and backgrounds for decades to come.”

In other news, Parks recently responded to being included in a list of the ‘Top Female Rappers’ in the world.

She shared a social media post with a screenshot of her inclusion and wrote: “Apparently I’m on @highsnobiety’s list of 15 female hip-hop artists…all I will say is that if you are a black person make whatever you want to make regardless of the boxes that people try and fold you into – you’re on the right path.”

The singer is also set to perform at this year’s Reading and Leeds festival as well as The Great Escape.

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