Genres Hip-Hop Music

Arlo Parks reflects on adolescence in the modern era in “Super Sad Generation”

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Sometimes there are songs you listen to where you just have to sit down in silence for a few moments and think back to the beauty that you’ve just beheld. It rarely happens but when it does it feels like you’re being hit with a wave of emotions and soon after you’re left feeling cathartic. Arlo Parks has managed to do this with her first single of 2019 Super Sad Generation.

The minimalistic production of the track, featuring a continuous beat and simple guitar melody, puts the main focus of the track on Parks’ delicately hushed vocal delivering these poetic lyrics that feel like they’ve come straight out of a sonnet by Elizabeth Bishop with absolute ease. Her soft vocal has such emotional impact as she goes over the personal issues such as suicide, depression, unemployment and disappointing her parents all coming to light throughout the track. Her spoken word verse is one of the highlights for her lyrically with one of the most entrancing being, “Might kill myself / If you don’t pick me.” It’s a track that expresses the problems of being an adolescent in the modern era and the hopes that come with it tragically and beautifully.

Speaking about the track Arlo said, “When I look at my generation I see a kaleidoscope of dejection, passion and anxiety – there’s this strange mix of sadness and intimacy that saturates generation Z. Super Sad Generation was inspired by the time my friends and I sat on the green at sunset, half wine drunk and ugly crying for no reason in particular. We talked for hours about ghosts, disappointing our parents and depression. Everyone I loved seemed so angry and sick and aggressively alive, I’ll never forget that evening. On the bus ride home I wrote the poem that would eventually become Super Sad Generation – a reflection on how a lot of things break and a lot of people get hurt during adolescence.”

At 18 year old Arlo Parks has the lyrical prowess of an old soul with the emotively empowering vocal to match. Focusing on being an adolescent she has created a track that will have a strong impact on anyone who is apart of her generation.

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