single review ~ soak ~ 'blud'

(The 'Blud EP' is out now)
The rise of crystal voiced, acoustic guitar swinging teenager 'SOAK' (real name Bridie Monds-Watson) has been nothing short of miraculous. The seventeen year old, who's admirers stretch as far as The Observer newspaper to Snow Patrol's Gary Lightbody, has went from the confines of her make shift recording studio in her own bedroom to lighting up stages across Europe. Having been invited on tours with the likes of Bombay Bicycle Club, George Ezra and electronic pop maestros Chvrches to name but a few, it should be no surprise that this young lady has such a commanding grasp of her craft. Yet, sometimes it requires the release of some new material to remind the nation just why they elevated the artist to such heights in the first place. In Soaks case, this comes in the shape of new single 'BLUD'. Nearly two years on from the track that first launched her into main stream consciousness, (the compelling 'Sea Creatures') can 'BLUD' maintain the momentum she's gathered to a debut album rolling? Taylor Johnson had a listen...

At times it's important to take a step back to appreciate the age and maturity of young artists in an ever increasingly youthful business, when reviewing a new track or compilation. The occasional over indulgence in a costly production or juvenile lyric can be forgiven, but not so with Londonderry/Derry's Soak. This is because her class and wisdom rarely, if ever, falls into these or any other unfortunate category's and we are left instead with a body of work that can easily compare to the carefully constructed EP's and albums of artists far older than the teenager. 'Blud' keeps this exceptional record in tact, her delicate melodies and gentle acoustic guitar producing a song of ethereal beauty. Haunting backing vocals caress a melancholic chorus, "You're in my blood" washing over the minimalist set-up with fragility and genuine emotion. As delicately poised as the chorus is, it's the final subtle refrain that elevates it to a new level. With one, gentle admission, Soak hits the kind of emotional boundary only truly exploited by the lamenting verse of Stephen Patrick Morrissey. "Let's just forget...". It's simplistic, despondent and yet heartrendingly honest enough to be identified with by any broken romantic. These are feelings perhaps not even considered during the writing process and yet effortlessly brilliant.

Vocally, it's a now classically delicate effort, as soothing and captivating as her earlier work, with protruding improvements rising to the surface. The falsettos are ever so slightly more assured, the pitch has widened further again and the passion is as evident as ever.

Based on this, the Soak bandwagon is showing no signs of slowing down. In fact, the songstress may soon have to wave goodbye to whats left of her suburban life when her debut album finally arrives. Big things are on the way.

Taylor Johnson

If you like ~ Kate Bush | Fleet Foxes | And The Giraffe ~ You'll love Soak

Keep up to date with all official Soak news on the links below.

Official Website
(Listen to a live version of the official single above)

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