Basking in the muggy midsummer sunset, yesterday’s group were entranced by a soulful haze reverberating gloriously all over Somerset House’s 18th-century courtyard. The phase adorned with bouquets of symbolic sunflowers, and a sense of cathartic release drawing at any time-nearer, a younger contemplative songwriter seems to remind us all the virtue of tranquil.
Arlo Parks has noticed a monumental creative increase about the previous several many years, her debut album ‘Collapsed In Sunbeams’ successful the Mercury Tunes Prize in 2021, and by way of her radiant pop poetry has settled easily into the community consciousness. If this wasn’t now apparent, the glowing enthusiasm of last night’s viewers was a positive reminder.
Just after an first supporting set of indie tunes from New-Zealander Molly Payton, Arlo’s sevenfold band reached their onstage stations and tore into a satisfyingly prolonged instrumental opener the recognisable rise and slide of ‘Green Eyes’ backed by deep orange visuals. When the artist herself appeared, the atmosphere at Somerset Property was of admiration, elation, and a hunger for extra heartwarming pop anthems to occur.
Admitting to some nerves prior to her entrance, Arlo assured the group “I’m respiration a sigh of aid, I’m house,” and continued to carry out picks from her enchanting repertoire. We see a playthrough of ‘Cola’, its hip-swaying groove backed by psychedelic floral imagery, into the flawlessly soulful ‘Caroline’, accompanied by unfettered chanting from the crowd.
The established from here onwards built time for much more mild numbers. ‘Bluish’ was introduced by Arlo as “a vulnerable song about emotion trapped in a relationship”, and ‘Black Dog’ as a track that empathises with anybody who has struggled in the past, such as herself. It is this coronary heart-on-sleeve honesty that best characterises Arlo Parks, and whilst these tunes capture this poignancy on record, the daring, defiant reside illustration of each and every music is what sees them certainly soar.
As the night draws to a near, she closes the set with vivid renditions of crowd-satisfying ‘So Good’, the sunkissed mellow grooves of ‘Sophie’, characteristically anthemic ‘Hope’ and her latest single ‘Softly’. The sunflowers handed out to the viewers prior to the present are held significant and carefully sway with every beat, the band amping up as each individual track satisfies its conclusion. Devoid of an encore, Arlo Parks leaves the group desperately wanting more, but inspite of our chanting endeavours to welcome her again on stage, we all head homewards, ready to collapse in sunbeams.
Text: Kieran Macdonald-Brown