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Blissful Music For Sweater Weather: Raveena and Arlo Parks

Music is a wonderful thing – we celebrate, relax, reflect, and grieve with music. I’m spending a lot of time alone these days, and sometimes I find myself trying to fill my room with as many melodies as possible. Usually, I listen to upbeat dance tunes, but now that it’s officially sweater weather, I’ve been seeking tunes that elicit a soothing, cozy vibe. 

I want to talk about two young, phenomenal female artists who have inspired me to write about their recent songs: Raveena and Arlo Parks. These artists combine beautiful harmonies and lyrics to tell dynamic stories and perform songs of various genres. They’ve set an amazing tone for the upcoming season for me, and I hope they do so for you as well!

Raveena

At the age of 26, Raveena Aurora has already found immense success and recognition in the music industry. In her latest EP, “Moonstone,” Raveena dazzles with psychedelic, intertwining melodies to create sensational indie pop tracks. She explores her identity and reflects on her relationships, weaving stories about all-consuming romance, while also addressing trauma and painful past experiences. Raveena’s sweet, heavenly voice perfectly delivers messages of love and vulnerability. 

Each of the four songs in this EP gives the warm sensation of basking in soft sunlight on a Sunday afternoon. The smooth vocals and tender guitar chords tell stories of passion, enchantment, and intimacy. In the fourth and last track, “Starflower,” Raveena sings, “Spill your secrets to the ocean tide / Let them wash into the infant light / See your reflection in the Milky Way.” 

Raveena’s gentle harmonies and lyrics, especially in this closing song, fill the listener with nostalgia, while the otherworldly tunes simultaneously transport them to an unknown future. She puts you in the perfect mood for relaxation and reminiscence. Overall, “Moonstone” is so brilliant and dazzling that I can’t help but feel serene and affectionate while listening to her words. 

Raveena’s earlier work is also noteworthy. In her single, “Honey,” she blends traditional elements from her Indian heritage by “incorporating a tabla and sitar, two instruments often used in Indian music,” as Parvathy Vasudev describes in Afterglow. As a queer woman of color, Raveena highlights her South Asian culture, while also using her work to discuss themes of gender and sexuality. She presents delicacy and self-acceptance as forms of strength, offering a space for South Asian women to embrace “a feeling of sensuality and light femininity.”

Arlo Parks 

The other talented artist I want to discuss is Arlo Parks, a 20-year-old poet and singer from London. Her songs are “confessional and tender, mainly inspired by Portishead and Earl Sweatshirt,” according to her biography. With the announcement of her debut album “Collapsed In Sunbeams” set to come out in January 2021, she recently released her latest single, “Green Eyes,” on October 20th. 

“This is a song about self-discovery, self-acceptance and adolescence,” Parks said. The dreamy, rhythmic tune showcases Parks’ tender but striking voice as she sings, “Dragonfruit and peaches in the wine / Kissin’ circles underneath your eyes.” The track also features Clairo on backing vocals and guitar. “It is supposed to uplift and comfort those going through hard times,” Parks continued. 

Her empathic voice draws the listener in as she brings her imaginative poetry to life. In another one of her singles from this year titled “Hurt,” Parks tells a visual story about healing and recovery. In the third verse, she breaks the musical flow by going into spoken poetry as she says, “Started dreaming of a house with red carnations by the windows / Where he didn’t feel so small, so overwhelmed by all his flaws.”

Parks’ creativity blends with her ability to write honestly about mental health and vulnerability. “I know you can’t let go, of anything at the moment / Just know it won’t hurt so / Won’t hurt so much forever,” the chorus of the song continues. 

The artist has many other lo-fi, laid-back pop tracks that highlight her sweet voice and confessional words. Earlier this year, she became an ambassador for the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM), which is a leading movement for suicide prevention in the UK. Her brilliant storytelling, songwriting, and performance skills serve as powerful assets in her movement to advance conversations around mental health issues. 

Both Raveena and Arlo Parks are exceptional artists who are using their voice and platform to shed light on important topics related to introspection and diversity. Their beautiful lyricism and instrumentation deserve recognition, and there is a lot of excitement about their future work. 

Music can certainly be a form of self-care to promote wellness. These artists and their songs can bring peace during times of struggle, hopelessness, or disarray. For those of us seeking comfort and cozy vibes, Raveena’s sweet voice and Arlo Parks’ emotional vignettes can help us relax and reflect on ourselves. Their art is truly blissful and much-needed as we finish up the rest of the fall semester, so I hope I’ve convinced you to go check them out!

Listen on Spotify: Raveena, Arlo Parks

Mary is a junior majoring in Science, Technology & Society with a minor in Consumer Psychology. She is on the Penn Women's Golf Team and is passionate about storytelling and health & wellness. Her favorite writers include Toni Morrison, Kurt Vonnegut, and Malcolm Gladwell. When she isn't studying or golfing, Mary enjoys listening to music + podcasts, watching TV with her family & friends, and practicing yoga.
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