New single released November 3 via Rough Trade
LIVE: UK headline tour (St Giles in The Field, November 5) on sale this Friday
“A vivid portrait of teenage deep-thinking: intricate, ambiguous psychodramas” Guardian
“SOAK’s sound has snippets of Cat Power and the delicacy of Lykke Li…well-crafted and uplifting psalms” Noisey
“Age be damned. Talent shouts louder” NME
“Understated and beautiful” Stereogum
“An emerging star” Nylon
SOAK has announced plans for a new single, ‘B a noBody’ – her first since signing with Rough Trade – which will be released on November 3. This follows the success of ‘Blud’, the first release on CHVRCHES’ singles imprint, which picked up additional radio support from Zane Lowe, Huw Stephens, Phil & Alice and Lauren Laverne. Having toured with the likes of Tegan & Sara, George Ezra and CHVRCHES, on top of summer festival slots at Glastonbury, Latitude and Electric Picnic, SOAK has also announced an intimate run of dates for November – featuring a London show at St Giles In The Field on November 5.
SOAK has won widespread praise, and comparisons ranging from Laura Marling to Beach House, for her textured tales of adolescence, family and friendship. Still just 18 years old, Bridie Monds-Watson has been performing in her home of Derry since the age of 14, where she’d split her time between studying, the local skate-park, and her burgeoning songwriting (touring in the school holidays, and launching Derry’s City of Culture hours before a GCSE exam). Until earlier this year, it’s a DIY operation which still involved SOAK being managed by her parents, who’d patiently make cups of tea for the A&Rs flying into Belfast for the day, parked up outside her house. Although her Mum and Dad knew nothing of artist management, they knew their daughter – and that she’d be ready whenever she was ready.
Intimate, honest and with a maturity already renowned to be beyond her years, ‘B a noBody’ steps up the slow-build of SOAK, with stunning results. Musically, multi-instrumentalist Bridie fleshes out its raw acoustic beginnings with a shimmering wall of guitars, drums and piano, whilst the lyrics were directly inspired by her elder brother, who left university in a crisis over what to do with his life. In its infectious refrain, however – “C’mon c’mon, be just like me…be a nobody” – SOAK again appears to speak of a more universal sense of companionship and isolation (she has quickly drawn an impassioned teenage following, including one fan who’s just had her lyrics tattooed). “’B a nobody’ was written about people who feel held back in life, or don’t know what their plan is,” comments Bridie. “It’s kind of, ‘if everybody is somebody, then nobody is everybody.”
‘B a noBody’ was recorded across a summer with timely parallels to the crossroads in SOAK’s own life: whilst her friends collected their A-Level results, Bridie finally penned a deal with Rough Trade for her debut album. It’s an apt fit for the independent streak which has coloured SOAK’s homespun career since the age of 14 (“They just felt like the perfect people to work with, and their back catalogue is incredible”). Bridie cut-short the customary post-signing celebrations in favour of her other major passion – skateboarding with her mates – and is currently recording her long-awaited debut album (expected to be released early next year). SOAK’s tenure as a raw, young talent is over: this is a unique new artist for the years ahead.
November 5 London St. Giles In The Fields
November 6 Manchester The Castle
November 7 Derry Christ Church
November 8 Dublin The Unitarian Church