3. Black Dog – Arlo Parks (2020, Transgressive Records, Taken from ‘Eugene’)
Before I start please support this wonderful charity – CALM https://www.thecalmzone.net/
It was my good friend Will that first told me about Arlo Parks (Hi Will, if you are reading). We were walking through a forest as our daughters ran off ahead and jumped out from behind trees in an attempt to scare us.
I think I might have scoffed at first, thinking that perhaps, Arlo Parks was a bit like Katy Perry or something and that perhaps Will had let his daughters have too much power over his car stereo.
Then I listened to ‘Black Dog’ and I realised I was totally wrong. ‘Black Dog’ is incredible, a stunningly brave and personal record (one that started life as a poem) about mental health that deliberately makes the lyrics the focus, the beats are barely there (lofi at best) and the music supporting it is an acoustic guitar that is tickled rather than strummed. Its majestic.
There are not many songs that deal with mental health as well as ‘Black Dog’ does, but it didn’t just deal with the subject. It made it a subject that people discussed, scrapped away some of the taboo and that should be applauded.
Here is the other side of the single
Eugene – Arlo Parks