New Music Reviews

Arlo Parks’ Weightless: The Darkness Before the Dawn

In 2021 Arlo Parks’ record Collapsed in Sunbeams blew me away and I could not wait to hear more from Parks. Well, only a quick two years later and here we are. Parks is putting out a handful of singles ahead of their upcoming record. Weightless is an incredibly written track that highlights Park’s limitless writing and vocal talent.

Musically, Parks moves away from their sparse jazzy vibe from their previous record to a lush synth and pop influenced sound. This is quite of a departure for Parks who spent most of their time in the previous record with bopping keyboards and some classic 4/4 beats. Parks’ move to a steely synth, strong bass and lush electro fill gives the track a modern pop feel, which also gives it some great energy. Some fans may find this shift too abrupt, but I love it when artists evolve and a more modern pop sound is a welcome addition. I’m sure there will be more jazzy tracks on their new record, so I’m sure fans will find something to like.

This is a track that rewards multiple listens as Parks expertly weaves a painful emotional journey amongst the sparkling pop exterior. They sing about a relationship, which has deteriorated into one person craving love and affection from the other, while that person slowly falls into a dark abyss. In a sense, one person’s lack of affection and connection acts as an anchor that weighs the other down. The main character is robbed of their agency, sense of self and joy as they wait for affection that they will never receive. They think back to how they lost their zest for life and joy as all of their energy is sucked dry by the other person.

However, the title itself gives us hope. The chorus is all about waiting for the other person and wanting to leave the relationship, but can’t. The play on words is that the waiting has its own weight on the main character as they are worn down and exhausted over time. The hope in all this darkness is the title Weightless, which hints that the realisation that they will never get the affection they are looking for will give them the power to leave the relationship. In a sense, the wait, and the weight, will be lifted and they will be free. In such a dark song I may be stretching to find hope, but it all fits, so I’ll cling to it.

That is why this track is so great…the mystery…the open-ended nature of it. Is knowledge power? Now that they know what impact the wait is having, will they become weightless? This is Parks at their height with a truly moving song with beautiful vocals. I am excited to hear more of their new pop sound on the new record.

Listen to Weightless

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