The SOAK we hear on her second album is different; now in her 20s and based in Manchester, she’s at a physical and psychic remove from the dark days that inspired her debut album, and there’s a greater sense of levity and adventurousness to her songcraft. But even if she’s managed to escape her own prison, she’s continuing the rescue mission for those still trapped in theirs. As Monds-Watson revealed in a recent interview, Grim Town is a cheeky phrase she and her friends use to describe something that’s a bit shit
Soak: Grim Town album artwork. As introductions go, it’s a crude and largely needless one. Once Grim Town kicks into gear, it quickly becomes clear that the Derry-born musician is appealing to those familiar with the frightening disorientation that accompanies psychological distress (something even those with reliable pay packets have been known to experience). How can I be home and still want to go there? asks the 22-year-old on I Was Blue, Technicolour Too, with a deftness of expression that belies her years, while on Fall Asleep, Backseat she is terrified that I’d forgot how to smile.
Soak – Grim Town (2019). Posted by NewAlbumReleases. net On April - 25 - 2019. Previously on NewAlbumReleases.
Grim Town, SOAK’s followup to her debut, dips little toes into sounds, genres, and topics well tread by young artists. There are definite moments of strength and potential, especially in her maturing production, though a few strong trees don’t make a forest. Oh look, an alt-pop album that I actually like! Grim Town is unique and full of SOAK’s distinct personality but is not ashamed to show off its influences, such as The 1975 and The Cure (but, like, Wish-era Cure). Emotionally charged yet light-hearted, nearly every song on this album is the dictionary definition of a bop. While the slower, ballad-style songs aren’t my personal cup of tea, SOAK’s vocals are perfectly imperfect, resonating with the listener so that you.
Grim Town mourns the loss of simplicity that comes with childhood and teenage years and tries to fumble through the emotional wreckage with some sense of healthy normalcy (if such a thing exists). While it’s not immune to occasional moments of tediousness ( Fall Asleep, Backseat, I Was Blue, Technicolour Too ), Grim Town packages young adulthood in painfully authentic, graceful soul-pop and spunky indie-rock. There’s romance gone sour, relentless what ifs, tales of microwave timers, party poppers and grocery store flowers and most of all, the mounting societal and emotional pressures that signify adulthood.
Grim Town is comprised of 14 tracks that touch on the topics of long-distance love, depression, divorce, and social anxiety to the changing modern landscape (sexually, politically, emotionally), according to a press statement. Binding all the songs together is a central premise of a dystopia that I’ve created in my brain: me on the inside, processed into a pretend location, explains SOAK, born Bridie Monds-Watson. Once I had the idea of the album being an actual location, exploring the dynamics of this town and what it would look or sound like felt like the right way to give my mental state a personality. Our first visit to Grim Town comes in the form of Knock Me Off My Feet. The snappy lead single is said to be a love letter to small-town culture and the idea that we ourselves can be our best allies and our worst enemies. Check it out below via its official music video.
SOAK’s honesty, combined with her considerable musical gifts, ensures that Grim Town is always a nice place to visit, even if you’d never want to live there. 70. She’s now surpassed on its follow up Grim Town, which continues the themes of her debut, but with a new emotional growth.
Now, we have Grim Town, a brilliant extension to the SOAK sound. The indie-folk twiddler has evolved into a more pop-leaning behemoth with swaggering confidence and a newly sourced sense of cool. Before We Forgot How to Dream beautifully captured the uncertainty of teenage years, which we should universally recognise as the worst time of all our lives. In contrast, Grim Town sounds like freedom. Richly produced by Ant Whiting, the album captures the joy of being a young grown-up, when you throw off the shackles of adolescent anxiety, flourishing into the adult you were always meant to become. As Monds-Watson hails from the city, it’s impossible not to think of the brilliance of 1990s-set Derry Girls and the brighter future for its youth that the show yearns for – a future made possible by two decades of peace but now wounded by recent unrest and the killing of Lyra McKee.
|2||Get Set Go Kid|
|3||Everybody Loves You|
|4||Knock Me Off My Feet|
|6||Fall Asleep / Backseat|
|7||Crying Your Eyes Out|
|8||I Was Blue Technicolour Too|
|15||Nothing Looks The Same|
Barcode and Other Identifiers
- Barcode: 191402003925
- Label Code: LC 11945
|RT0039LP||SOAK||Grim-Town (2xLP, Album)||Rough Trade||RT0039LP||UK||2019|
|RT0039LPX||SOAK||Grim-Town (2xLP, Album, Ltd + 7")||Rough Trade||RT0039LPX||UK||2019|