Arlo Parks has spoken about how she handles her sense of perfectionism when she’s writing music.
The songwriter was speaking to Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1 about her forthcoming second album, ‘My Soft Machine’, when started talking about her songwriting process and the benefits she gained from letting go of perfectionism.
“I think it took me a while to learn patience. I think especially when it comes to writing, I want it to be perfect now, and I think I had that real sense of frantically searching for the perfect way to say something, the perfect phrasing, the perfect chord,” she said.
“But then I actually in this writing process found proof that when you actually leave things alone and allow for them to take the time that they’re going to take, then that’s when the best things come.”
Parks also said that her process “is always going to be” an insular one. “I try and cultivate that almost. I like the idea of feeling like a teenager in my bedroom all the time,” she explained. “I like feeling like I’m away from the world, and then I can craft this little thing that is just for me, at least for now. ‘I can be brave. I can be myself.’ And that I guess encouraged me to go inwards a lot more radically on this record rather than speaking about characters and people outside of me. It was a lot more I and the self.”
Parks also went into more detail about her new single, ‘Impurities’. “I wanted it to feel like a door opening, and that sense of atmosphere. I think it started off as a celebration of the new community that I’d found in LA, and the people that made me feel like I could be myself.”
“And then I started thinking about the idea of someone completing you and somebody taking on the things about you that you don’t like, and somehow saving you. And that double meaning I think was really interesting. I wanted it to feel like searching. I wanted it to feel like I was adrift in a way, and then the lyrics then root you in. It’s the people, the people of the home, and I love the people that make me feel at home.”
On ‘My Soft Machine’, Parks said: “A lot of the record is about feeling deeply and surrendering to that feeling, or closing up and hiding behind walls. I think even in terms of the instrumentation, there are moments that are a little bit more abrasive and energized and there are moments that are more soft and hypnotic, and I just wanted something that had that sense of context.”
Arlo Parks will release her forthcoming album ‘My Soft Machine’ on May 26 via Transgressive Records.
She will also be embarking on a run of headline tour dates across the UK and Europe for September, which includes a show at London’s Eventim Apollo. See full dates below and buy your tickets here.
5 – Dublin, 3Olympia Theatre
14 – Amsterdam, Paradiso
15 – Brussels, Ancienne Belgique
17 – Berlin, Huxley’s Neue Welt
19 – Milan, Alcatraz
21 – Paris, L’Olympia
28 – London, Eventim Apollo