SOAK Up the Sounds
By Samia El-Balawi
SOAK is no longer just another average word but the definition of an emerging young artist who instantly captures the hearts and minds of anyone who has had the pleasure of coming across her profound sound. SOAK is a combination of the words ‘SOul And folK’, which simply and yet so perfectly describes the heartfelt and haunting nature of Bridie Monds-Watson’s unique and sincere songwriting skills. Hailing from Derry in Northern Ireland, she is only 18 years old.
Bridie first picked up a guitar at the age of 12 after her brother received one as a Christmas present and proceeded to learn Deep Purple’s ‘Smoke on the Water’. In an effort to compete with her sibling, she quickly learned tablature and the song, soon realising that she really enjoyed her newfound hobby. And so began her relationship with what would become her forte: creating beautiful music. SOAK cites Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon as her favourite album of all time, as well as drawing upon other musical influences of the past including Joni Mitchell and Led Zeppelin.
Recently signed to Rough Trade records, who spotted SOAK playing at Glastonbury in 2014, she is set to release her 14-song debut album, Before We Forgot How To Dream, on 1 June 2015. SOAK’s style has a sense of innocence, reflected in her tender and sometimes high-pitched vocals that gently lull the listener deeper into her distinctive way of looking at the world.
There is also a sense of sadness to some of SOAK’s songs evident in tracks such as ‘B a noBody’ and ‘Blud’, but at the same time there is an underlying positivity that can be heard. ‘Sea Creatures’, the latest single from her upcoming debut album, tells the tale of a friend who is experiencing a hard time at school while trying to tell her that all will one day be OK. This is an example of yet another track that portrays purity and honesty in a way that only SOAK can.
These beautiful songs are just a taste of what’s to come and if there is one thing that can be guaranteed, SOAK’s songs will bring a range of emotions to the surface. So brace yourselves for 1 June, when a record that will deserve a spot on your shelf in years to come will be released.
SOAK is playing a variety of gigs and festivals across the United Kingdom and Europe over the coming months. You can find further information relating to those tour dates, learn more about the musician herself and have a listen to SOAK on her official website, SoakMusic.net.