‘This Love‘ is the second release from South-East Londoner Alice Barlow (aka. Arlo Day), who since the start of this year has begun to carve herself out a niche as one of the more innovative singer-songwriters to watch out for in 2019. Having gained comparisons to the likes of Conor Oberst and Julien Baker, in the past year she has supported the ever brilliant Whitney on tour, signed to iconic label Domino, and has self-produced and recorded her debut three-track EP Bad Timing, which launches on May 31st.
Having gained airplay through the likes of Radio One’s Jack Saunders and Absolute Radio’s Danielle Perry, as well as features in Clash Magazine and the i Newspaper, she now follows up the critical praise lauded on her debut single ‘Bad Timing’ with this latest release, a sombre, anti-folk number about a troubled relationship. In her own words, “I wrote this song at a turbulent time in my life, it’s about an unhealthy kind of love with someone you know isn’t good for you, and trying to protect yourself from pain even though it may be inevitable.”
It presents itself with minimum fanfare, a precise, restrained drumline and a satisfyingly deep bass underpinning the central melody, as well as subtle electronic arrangements and backing vocals that augment themselves throughout the number to great effect. Arlo’s vocals have a haunted, world-weary quality, recalling the likes of Big Thief’s Adrianne Lenker and Julia Jacklin, whose track ‘Body’ this number immediately brings to mind. It’s a sombre, introspective piece that sells itself on its emotional simplicity, inviting you into its space and revealing itself to the listener with total honesty.
It’s certainly a crowded market for emotionally resonant, stripped back songwriters at present, but there’s plenty here to mark out Arlo Day as a talent with a bright future ahead. The EP, Bad Timing lands on May 31st via Domino Records, with a full band show to celebrate its launch at Bermondsey Social Club in London on June 6th.
Arlo Day’s forthcoming Bad Timing EP is now available to pre-order here via Domino’s online store.
There’s further chances to catch Arlo Day live this summer at the following festival dates:
13 – 15 Jul | Brainchild Festival, Bentley Wildfowl & Motor Museum
18 – 21 Jul | Latitude Festival, Suffolk
15 – 19 Aug | Green Man Festival, Brecon Beacons
24 – 25 Aug | This Must be The Place Festival, Leeds
Photo Credit: Lara Laeverenz