SOAK: Before We Forgot How to Dream (Rough Trade) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Issue #53 - April/May 2015 - Tame ImpalaSOAK

Before We Forgot How to Dream

Rough Trade

Jun 01, 2015 SOAK Bookmark and Share

There’s nothing the Brits like more than hyping one of their own. It’s a trait that explains why so few U.K. bands make it past album number two-by the time they’ve delivered a follow up, fickle tastemakers have already moved on to the latest hot piece of stuff. And then nobody listens.

With or without her blessing, Bridie Monds-Watson is the new “next big thing.” Working under the pseudonym SOAK, the Irish singer/songwriter’s early singles drew salivating comparisons to Cat Power and Lykke Li. Flattering, yes, but these parallels have only heightened anticipation around the arrival of her debut LP.

Beyond the hyperbole, Before We Forgot How to Dream is a remarkable piece of work for someone so young. At just 18 years old,

Monds-Watson delivers a striking and unsettling display of weatherworn melancholy; with her moribund intone gliding through affectionate slow creepers “Blind” and “Oh Brother.”

There’s little teen naivety on offer during these 14 tracks. And even the grammatically galling “B a noBody” finds its chirruping keys and whooshing chorus dissolving into a misery-strewn tragedy of modern anonymity. It’s safe to say that it’s hardly bubblegum-blowing pop produce.

Such despondency can overwhelm in places: tracks such as the anodyne “Reckless Behaviour” need more bite to balance out the hypnotic, misanthropic feints of “Shuvels.” But it will come. Monds-Watson’s career is only just beginning and, given time, she has the potential to develop into something very special. Just as long as the hype doesn’t get her first. (

Author rating: 7.5/10

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Average reader rating: 5/10


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