Today, Arlo Parks has announced a forthcoming deluxe version of her critically acclaimed sophomore album, My Soft Machine, to be released December 8th via Transgressive Records. This announcement is accompanied by new track and video for “Jasmine,” a wispy, warm recapitulation of Jai Paul’s original track.
To Arlo Parks, writing poetry is about profound interiority. The Mercury Prize-winning singer-songwriter-author has told us that the act of writing poetry is “wading into the saltwater of your own body: capillaries bursting, eyes brimming, unmoored.” Perhaps then, the act of consuming Arlo’s work is the act of accompaniment. Listening to Park’s sophomore album, My Soft Machine, (or reading her debut book, The Magic Border), feels like wading behind Arlo through the quagmire of her own being, feels like tagging along with her, placing our own feet in the cavities she leaves behind and using her gait as a guide through which we begin to recognize our own selves.
With “Jasmine,” Arlo walks the formidable sonic path originally forged by the elusive mid-2010s alternative tastemaker. Though “Jasmine” is Paul’s masterpiece, Arlo's iteration expertly replicates the delicate emotional textures of the shadowy, subtle original while pumping the tune full of her own brand of tenderness: Where Jai Paul whimpers, Arlo Parks whispers: Jasmine, Is it 'cause I scare you?/Is it 'cause I'm ill?/ But you've got to trust me/ Even if no one else will/Jasmine/Jasmine. Parks’ rendition of the song (which was, by the way, created with Dave Okumu with the blessing of Jai Paul himself), is skippy, soulful. The video, shot at sunset in New York and directed by Joel Barney and produced by Ali Raymond, affirms the warmth so gently communicated in the tune.
“Jasmine” will appear in the new deluxe version of the album, as well as six other new recordings. A new version of “I’m Sorry” featuring Lous and The Yakuza will appear on the record– which will only be available digitally– as well as a cover of Tirzah’s hit "Holding On," and acoustic versions of album favorites "Devotion" and "Pegasus. Following the release of the deluxe version, Arlo Parks will embark on her 18-stop North American tour in 2024. In anticipation, just follow Parks, wade with her into the saltwater of her work, Jai Paul’s work, with your capillaries bursting and your eyes brimming.