One of the first notable albums to arrive this year came from London singer Arlo Parks. The singer-songwriter released her debut project, Collapsed In Sunbeams at the end of January and it’s an effort that was received well by those who were introduced to her growing talents.
During an interview with NME toward the end of 2020, she described the album as “a series of vignettes and intimate portraits surrounding [her] adolescence and the people that shaped it.” She added, “It is rooted in storytelling and nostalgia – I want it to feel both universal and hyper specific.”
It’s this very album that earned her one of the most coveted awards in the United Kingdom. Parks is the latest recipient of the Mercury Prize, which is an award given to the best album released in the UK by a British or Irish act. The singer was graced with the award at a ceremony for it on Thursday, beating out acts that included Wolf Alice, Celeste, and Mogwai to take home the prize.
She shared her appreciation for the win in an onstage speech. “I am completely speechless. I don’t have the words,” she said according to The Independent. “I just want to say a big thank you to my family. My mum and my dad are somewhere in the room today.”
She added, “This is something that came off a lot of hard work from a lot of different people… it took a lot of sacrifice and hard work to get here and there were moments when I wasn’t sure whether I’d make it through, but I’m here today.” Parks spoke further about the win afterward during an interview with BBC 6 Music.
“I’m still coming off my little cloud – speechless for now, but very grateful,” she said before she was for what she was most proud about with her debut. “The storytelling,” she replied. “The honesty and the humanity and the fact that I was able to talk about things that were really important to me and affected me, in an honest way.”
Parks also performed “Too Good” at the award show. You can watch her performance in the video above.