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Arlo Parks returns with intimate new single ‘Softly’

It's her first new material since debut album 'Collapsed In Sunbeams' dropped a year ago

By Will Richards

Arlo Parks poses for the camera, 2022
Arlo Parks (Picture: Press)

Arlo Parks has returned with a brand new single, her first in a year – listen to intimate new track ‘Softly’ below.

‘Softly’ is Parks‘ first new material since the release of her Mercury Prize winning debut album ‘Collapsed In Sunbeams’, which was released in January 2021.

“‘Softly’ is a song about yearning, about how fragile you feel in the dying days of a relationship when you’re still desperately in love,” Parks said of the new track. “The song is about how it feels to brace yourself before the blow of a break up and reminisce about the days where it all felt luminous.”

It’s not clear yet whether ‘Softly’ is the first taster of a new album or batch of material, but you can listen to it below for now.

Since the release of her debut album, Arlo Parks won the Mercury Music Prize back in September last year, headed out on tour and more. She’s also set for a busy 2022 of shows, including a gig as part of Somerset House’s summer gig series in London, which will also welcome Black Midi, Squid, Carly Rae Jepsen, Ghetts and John Legend.

Last October, Parks spoke out about the need for more mental health support for the most marginalised groups in response to UNICEF’s The State of the World’s Children report.

The State of the World’s Children 2021 report examines children, adolescent and caregiver mental health. It also focuses on “risks and protective factors at critical moments in the life course and delves into the social determinants that shape mental health and well-being.”

The report raised concerns about the Covid-19 pandemic’s potential impact on a generation of children. It states: “But the pandemic may represent the tip of a mental health iceberg – an iceberg we have ignored for far too long.

In response to the report Parks said: “I have lost friends to mental illness and watched them drown in an inky pit of darkness.” 

She adds: “I have also seen friends blossom and navigate their way towards the light with professional help and a loving, attentive support system.

“A mind filled with shame cannot grow and that is why I believe that deconstructing stigma, making mental health support accessible and building structures to support people, in particular vulnerable and marginalised groups, is essential. Queerness in particular should not mean guilt, it should not mean other.”