New Releases Album Review: Collapsed in Sunbeams by Arlo Parks

Ash Zapata, Volunteer DJ

Arlo Parks (Anais Oluwatoyin Estelle Marinho) is a young British artist who released her first album, Collapsed in Sunbeams. This indie album is an honest collection of stories and experiences wrapped up in whimsical harmonies and instrumentals. Despite its cheery nature, the lyrics say otherwise, making the paradox of feelings that Anais experiences more meaningful; and in a way relatable.   

Album cover art for Collapsed in Sunbeams by Arlo Parks

Collapsed in Sunbeams- This opening track is spoken word poetry. It caught me off guard but I feel like it was a perfect intro to what the album would be about. “The turquoise in my ring matches the deep blue cramp of everything”.

Hurt- This song is very catchy, It’s about how although pain is tough;it’s temporary. I love her voice-it’s silky and whimsical.

Too good- This track features some seventies elements, synthesizers and drum patterns for the guitar. It has a groovy drumbeat also, sounds similar to something Tame Impala would write. 

Hope- This is one of my favorite tracks on the album. It has some jazzy piano chords, and talks about the loneliness we all feel right now-and how we can feel ashamed that we feel lonely. Especially in these times, loneliness is something we all have experienced at one point or another.

Caroline- Another one of my favorite tracks. It’s a short story in a sense, with the harmonies in the chorus emphasizing the argument a couple goes through.

Black Dog- This track has lo-fi elements and ethereal harmonies, and despite this the meaning is dark in contrast. Anais writes about her friend and her depression and her trying to understand it. 

Green Eyes- This song has a warmer feel then the previous bubbly tracks. It’s a very real conversation about sexuality and how it’s difficult for many couples. 

Just Go- This is a breakup song, it’s also catchy. Something i’ve noticed while listening to this album is that even though it sounds upbeat and happy, the lyrics are sad.

For Violet- Changes in life are hard, and with each growing day we realize the harsh realities that come with living. This slow track explores that notion, with dragging instrumentals.

Eugene- This track is also a personal favorite. This song is about unrequited love, more specifically loving your best friend while they love someone else.

Bluish-This track features  a lot of different textures instrumentally. The lyrics are repetitive but nevertheless the song is good. 

Portra 400- Last track of the album, it has a neo-jazz feel. I thought this was an odd ending to an album but Anais wanted it to feel like a rolling credits song in an indie movie-and it’s just that.

Overall, I really enjoyed this album. I feel as if the beginning was more interesting song wise, and as you listen through the album it becomes a bit repetitive in instrumental. With that being said, Anais makes the album cohesive, like a whimsical story. I’d rate this album a 4.2 Spinnaker Sails.