Arlo Parks' 'Black Dog' Is A Reminder That We're Not Alone : World Cafe : World Cafe Words and Music Podcast 'Black dog' is slang for depression. It's also the name of a breakout song from Arlo Parks, a song for the moment if there ever was one.

Arlo Parks Reminds Us That We're Not Alone

Arlo Parks On World Cafe

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Set List

  • "Green Eyes"
  • "Hurt"
  • "Black Dog"
  • "Cola"

The phrase 'black dog' is slang for depression. It's also the name of a breakout hit from Arlo Parks, a song that feels custom-made for this moment in history. Even though it was written before the pandemic, it poked at the heart of our ongoing predicament. It's a reminder during a time of loneliness that we're not alone.

For the past few years, Parks has been writing songs that touch on tough subjects, but always with the intent of overcoming them — or as she sings on "Portra 400," making rainbows out of something painful. It's led to an incredible amount of buzz, even before the release of her highly anticipated (and very, very good) debut album, Collapsed in Sunbeams. I talked to Parks about where these character studies come from, her work as an ambassador for a public health organization, and she shares some beautiful performances recorded live for the show.

Episode Playlist