Rising star Arlo Parks dazzles with emotional debut performance on Jimmy Fallon
New York, New York - The UK's rising star Arlo Parks made her US talk show debut on Monday’s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, performing her dreamlike single Black Dog.
Monday's performance was one of only a handful so far from Parks' much-praised album Collapsed in Sunbeams, released in January.
The 20-year-old musician began the song against a black backdrop, with her smooth vocals in focus.
She then moved out of the darkness to find herself on a scenic stage filled with sunflowers and blossoms, and her full band surrounding her.
It was a perfect performance to a song that paints a devastating portrait of what it means to see a close friend suffering from depression.
Black Dog is named after Winston Churchill’s metaphor for the illness.
Watch Arlo Parks perform Black Dog on Jimmy Fallon:
British media praise Arlo Parks as the voice of Gen Z
Much of the London-based poet's songs tackle depression, pain, and heartbreak. Her naked honesty is part of what has made her so successful, particularly amid a crushing pandemic that has ravaged people's physical and mental health all around the world.
But before 2020, the talented singer and songwriter's singles like Cola (2018) and Super Sad Generation (2019) captured the hearts of many, especially young listeners who identified with her lyrics. British news outlets like The Guardian have since called Parks the "voice of Generation Z," which is comprised of 18 to 24-year-olds who have been struggling with a growing mental health crisis.
"I am of that generation but I'm not speaking for that generation," Parks told Independent in January, ahead of her album release. "There are so many individuals. We’re not going to all have the same ways of being or priorities or personalities," she said, feeling uneasy about her title as voice of Gen Z.
She also admitted that upon releasing Collapsed in Sunbeams, she felt "a sense of fear, putting out something where I’m exposing a soft, vulnerable point in myself."
But the realization that she could help people outweighed her fear. "I also think if you don’t feel a bit scared when you’re putting stuff out, it’s not close to the bone enough," she added.
Her heart-felt and soft though brutally-honest tracks have won the approval of the likes of former First Lady Michelle Obama; indie-talent Phoebe Bridgers, who recorded a cover with Parks; and singer Hayley Williams, who included her as a tour opener.
Arlo Parks releases US tour dates
Since releasing Collapsed In Sunbeams, Parks has been unstoppable, and fans have enjoyed a range of new multimedia content. Most recently, she released a cover of Clairo’s Bags, hosted a one-hour Radiohead special for BBC Radio 6 Music, and announced she will feature on Denzel Curry and Kenny Beats’ forthcoming album Unlocked 1.5.
Parks will be touring the UK, Europe, and the US in 2021, if everything goes as planned.
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