#40 Arlo Parks: Super Sad Generation

I talk to girls that sing about asphyxiation until their beer goes flat
I talk to girls that bring their switchblades to the function and dye their buzzcuts black

Shut your mouth and take your vitamins
Bite your nails and sell your Ritalin
I feel like the world is on my back

Sophie

Firstly, Arlo Parks was in the year 2000. So fuck her, right?

The wasn’t even born when Ridley Scott’s ‘Gladiator’ was released, co-starring an actor who was then still known as ‘River Phoenix’s less successful brother’. Bizarrely though, the number 1 movie when she was born was ‘Hollow Man‘. Like, nobody saw that movie! Was Arlo born into an alternative universe where Paul Verhoven movies were still popular into the 21st century?? The number one single when she was born was 7 Days, which – yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeah – kinda tracks in so many ways. The crowd do indeed, say “Bo selecter”. That wasn’t 7 Days though, that was an Artful Dodger song….

we were making love by Wednesday! Then on Thursday, Friday, Saturday.

We chilled on Sunday.

Arlo Parks though, isn’t it?? She had a pretty special 2021, didn’t she??

Sorry, just going back to Craig David for one second, there’s a bigger link that I can make here and – bah Gahd! – I’m going to fucking make it: Craaaaaaaaig David was only eighteen years old when Re-Rewind propelled him into the nation’s popular consciousness. Younger people… Firstly, younger people: fuck you … Younger people might not appreciate or remember, but Craig David really was all over our collective boink at the turn of the century. And he really was fuck you age. At the time, I was actually younger than Craig (not any more, sadly, I actually overtook Mr David’s age in the later half of 2013), so I didn’t really appreciate it. But surely there were sad, ginger, far knackers in 1999 and 2000 saying fuck you to Craig David, for being fuck you young and fuck you talented?

Well, now he has spawned the next generation who are somehow – fuck you – even younger and – fuck you – even more talented. Arlo was rewarded for her fuck you talent in 2021 when critics – including yours truly, the most important critic – were ecstatic for her debut album proper ‘Collapsed in Sunbeams‘. It was nominated for a Grammy and won the Mercury Music Prize. The eyeballs attracted, she decided to make the most of the extra attention by rereleasing her 2019 debut ‘EP’ (ten songs? Half an hour? Fuck you, EP!). Released when she was even fucking younger! Fuck you!

And, despite the inarguable quality of ‘Collapsed in Sunbeams’, I would actually consider this album a superior set of songs. Arlo seems less infected with the BBC Sounds/Brit School style stank that her debut album ‘proper’ (this is an album, just fucking admit it! Fuck you!) had tinges of as her sound and lyrical focus were sanded off ever so slightly with a wider audience aimed at (extremely successfully). It’s all great, but ‘Super Sad Generation’ feels rawer and more brutally honest, to its absolute credit. Plus her major debut rarely saw her manage to squeeze “asphyxiation” into lyrics so easily, and there’s a sad lack of opening lines like “When did we get so skinny?/Start doing ketamine on weekends”.

So, in conclusion: fuck you!

BandCamp

Haha! Not on Spotify! Get to BandCamp you skinflints!

2021 #38

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