Arlo Parks is the latest artist to perform on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, delivering an ethereal rendition of her recent single ‘Softly’.
Flanked by a five-piece backing band, Parks sung the track remotely from an empty auditorium, slinking around the stage as she melted into the soulful indie-pop tune. It was an impressively authentic recreation of it, with live saxophone and airy backing vocals adding even more colour to the original cut’s widescreen soundscape.
Have a look at the performance below:
Parks released ‘Softly’ as a single back in February. At the time, she described it as “a song about yearning” and “how fragile you feel in the dying days of a relationship when you’re still desperately in love”. She continued in her statement: “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.”
As well as her first new music for 2022, ‘Softly’ marked Parks’ first release since her Mercury Prize-winning debut album, ‘Collapsed In Sunbeams’, landed in 2020. NME gave that record a five-star review, with Georgia Evans writing: “Arlo Parks may be the voice of Gen Z, but there’s no doubt that this is a universal collection of stories that’ll provide solace for listeners of all ages and backgrounds for decades to come.”
Speaking to NME last December, Parks discussed the evolution of her songwriting. “My sonic palettes and tastes have definitely expanded, and the kind of music that I want to make has changed,” she said. “But I think internally, the way that I write my lyrics, the way that I put songs together, is still that very personal, intimate, intentional way of doing things.”
Parks was up for two gongs at the 2022 Grammy Awards, earning nods for Best New Artist and Best Alternative Music Album. She however lost out to Olivia Rodrigo and St. Vincent (with ‘Daddy’s Home’), respectively.
Yesterday (April 3) saw Parks announce a sprawling North American tour for 2022, taking in 20 shows throughout September and October. The singer-songwriter is currently opening for Clairo on her own US run, and will also perform shows in Canada with Florence + The Machine. You can grab tickets for Parks’ headline tour here.