Collapsed in Sunbeams
“Collapsed in Sunbeams” by Arlo Parks
Arlo Parks’ debut album “Collapsed in Sunbeams” is a breath of fresh, thoughtful, air as Parks incorporates poetic genius into her bright indie songs. Inspired by photographers on this album, Parks has said in a press release, “I want the experience of listening to my songs to feel like you’re looking down the lens of a camera.” Not just an album, or photo album, “Collapsed in Sunbeams” lends itself like a rich novel to hours of interpretation and conspiracy theories, as Parks utilizes both immediately accessible statements like “It feels like nothing’s changing” and visually stunning statements, “I could picture terror swirling in your iris,” both lyrics from “For Violet.” What’s at the heart of this album, these collapsing sunbeams, are narratives that shake and reverberate in your memory, like falling for a friend or wishing you could protect your loved one from the “Black Dog” that stalks them.
At times on “Collapsed in Sunbeams” Arlo plays with R&B influences, “Hurt” for example, but Parks does so much to update the sound. What remains on the album isn’t a perfect audio reference but the nostalgia you might feel listening to one of your favorite 90s R&B songs. The whole album sounds nostalgic thanks to its blend of bright and melancholy sounds and themes. Parks carefully considers the dark and the light on this debut, which makes this album not just a breath of fresh air, but a thoughtful breath of air.