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Arlo Parks on privacy, Phoebe Bridgers and why she cancelled her tour dates: ‘I felt my boundary and pushed past it’

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really heavy, I was sweating!” laughs Arlo Parks. She’s recalling shooting the video for “Blades” from her second album, My Soft Machine. “We’d attached the big camera to the top to get those claustrophobic shots and all that weight was pressing down on my neck.

But I’ve always loved the video for Radiohead’s “No Surprises” [in which Thom Yorke wore a helmet that gradually filled up with water] and I wanted to give a nod to that influence…”While Yorke was singing about being trapped in “a job that slowly kills you” back in 1998, Parks’ new song finds her describing “struggling, choking on my words”.

The London-born singer-songwriter – who won the Mercury Prize for her debut album, Collapsed in Sunbeams – soothed listeners through the latter days of the pandemic with gently jazzy meditations on the simple joy to be found in “feeding a cat or slicing artichoke hearts”.

But, having been so open about her personal life in her songs, she struggled with the “invasive” questions the press threw at her. “Despite me saying that I was uncomfortable, they just kept coming,” she told GQ.

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