Arlo Parks and the power of her debut album ‘Collapsed In Sunbeams’


You shouldn’t be afraid to cry in front of me

Arlo Parks – Collapsed In Sunbeams

The final line spoken by Arlo Parks, on the opener of ‘Collapsed In Sunbeams’, is a powerful proclamation about love in its truest, most vulnerable form. It sets off the album’s lyrical fabric and in just one line it sums up the idea of exposure, the importance of walls needing to collapse for a relationship to grow.

A sunbeam, in meteorological context, is a ray of sunlight that appears to radiate from the sun. Shining through openings in clouds, or between other objects such as mountains and buildings, these beams of particle-scattered sunlight are separated by darker shadowed volumes.

You won’t hurt so much forever

Arlo Parks – Hurt

On her debut album, there are hopeless moments where Arlo feels close to collapsing under the weight of her love. But she also acknowledges that pain doesn’t last forever, and it’s braver to feel something than nothing at all. What makes the record so real is that there is as much “Hurt” as there is “Hope”.

Parks uses her words to show she cares, and proves that there’s power in that. Whether it’s name-dropping Thom Yorke on “Too Good”, or kicking toxic people to the curb on “Just Go”, the 20-year-old comes across as mature and true to herself.

I’d lick the grief right off your lips

Arlo Parks – Black Dog

Arlo’s most romantic lyrics are also her darkest. Perhaps because there is something about confronting the immediacy of death, that makes you feel the most alive.

‘Collapsed In Sunbeams’ is a cathartic record about love being easy and simple. She’s not saying that all love is easy or simple, rather acknowledging that the best love – real love, should be. It’s finding comfort in the uncomfortable; light where there is dark.