Well, not really. As far as I know, they’re not holding forth about this and that with one another, at least not yet. But I do think Ms. Parks would make a fine addition to the Boy Genius lineup of Phoebe Bridgers, Julien Baker, and Ms. Dacus. The current (sometime) lineup seems incredibly unified, the voices, the vibe, the same potential for volcanic eruptions after thoughtful, nearly shy expressions of angst. And those depths. The oceanic quivers of recognition and response, the crashing, concussive waves, the veering off-kilter just when you thought you knew there would be no more veering.
Arlo Parks would be the transatlantic, London partner to the Virginian Dacus, the Californian Bridgers, and the Tennessean Baker.
They’re all in their twenties, with Parks being the youngest at 21 — a peak time for dark questions in search of luminous answers, or the upside-down of that. A peak time for nostalgia born of all too recent regrets and not quite theres.
In the song “Brando,” Dacus asks why an old boyfriend never really got her, and didn’t seem to have the courage to confront his own insecurities.
The saddest voice, matched with an almost upbeat track, Dacus brings mystery and contrast to an almost perfectly rendered song.
In “Hope,” Parks offers comfort to the lonely, with an undercurrent of her own loneliness churning up into her beautiful voice. She offers hope with the hint of her own struggles with the word, and strength under duress. Without that sense of vulnerability and deep, deep waters, the song would be pop-silly, saccharine top-forty, instead of a surprising ode to the complexities of youth in an especially batshit crazy time.
We create our own dialogues, and choose our own pairings, twins, and contrapuntals. Our “friends” talk with us and through us if we let them, if we will it.