As I peruse Spotify and Pandora, I am constantly attempting to find new artists and songs. While browsing Troye Sivan’s Spotify playlist, I came across a beautifully haunting song called “Sea Creatures.” The song was like nothing I had ever heard before, with its soft beats and lamenting voice coming from a singer called SOAK. I had never heard of SOAK before and, after looking at her page on Spotify, I found out the artist only had 10,000 followers. However, just from that first song I knew that the entire world would eventually hear her unique voice from their headphones.
Bridie-Monds Watson, better known as SOAK, is a 19-year-old Irish singer and songwriter that has emerged onto the music scene with her debut album, “Before We Forget How To Dream,” or BWFHTD. The album’s sound has been referred to as dream pop, which is a subtype of alternative rock that relies on melody and breathy vocals. SOAK successfully does this with her light voice and acoustic guitar. She is best when it is just her and her guitar. The singer demonstrates this vocal power in the unplugged Spotify Session she conducted for her most popular songs, “Sea Creatures,” “B a NoBody,” “Wait” and “Blind.” The session proves that her voice is truly astounding and that she deserves so much more recognition.
While “Before We Forget How To Dream” didn’t debut at number one, it did give the singer a solid presence on the music scene, debuting at 19 on the Irish charts and 37 in the United Kingdom. Posters of the album and SOAK appeared throughout the United Kingdom and the United States, and I know I freaked out when I saw one in a subway station near Greenwich Village.
The album contains 14 songs and is a mere 41 minutes long, but it leaves a dramatic impact on its listener. It opens with “My Brain,” which contains building instrumentals that make for a bold beginning. The first line from the album, “A teenage heart is an unguided dart,” is filled with sadness and wisdom that will guide the rest of the album. “B a NoBody,” the album’s most popular song, depicts a person that isn’t content with his or her life. SOAK urges them to stop obsessing over fame and following the crowd. She repeats, “Come on, come on (come on, come on). Be just like me. Come on, come on (come on, come on), be a nobody.” The track has gained recognition from many artists, including artist Troye Sivan and music connoisseur Connor Franta.
“Blud” describes the anguish the singer-songwriter felt about her parents’ divorce. She laments, “You’re in my blood, I’m in your blood. You’re in my blood, let’s just forget. Let’s just forget.” SOAK wants to forget that her father is a part of her biological traits due to their strained relationship and their difficulties while she was growing up. “Wait” describes someone who wastes their life waiting for someone. The singer warns, “You’ll be waiting your whole life, you’ll be wasting your time. You’ll be wasting all of your time on something that wanders.” She continues to write about the discontent people feel and how they need to move on from the things that hold them back, whether that be a lover or an ambition. My favorite track off the album, “Sea Creatures,” is the first song to contain a quicker and more lively beat. “I don’t think they know what they mean. I don’t think they know what love is. Throw it around like it’s worthless.” The people around the singer aren’t genuine and they do not comprehend what love truly means, but there is one person in her life that understands her. She tells them, “I don’t get this town. Neither do you. We should run away, just me and you.”
Another moving track on the album, “Garden,” is a fast-paced song that deserves to be the head song in any teenage indie movie. The singer describes an unrequited love that she doesn’t want to give up on. “If you let me in, I’d take you everywhere.” One of the closing songs on the album, “Hailstones Don’t Hurt,” physically hurts the listener with its lyrics. She cries, “Hailstones don’t hurt, but your forget does. Does it sting to know that your voice is the only sound that can calm me down?” SOAK is describing the pain an ex-lover gives her with their neglect.
The album heartbreakingly shows the trials the singer has already gone through in her youth and teenage years. SOAK is relatable to anyone going through tough times, whether that be alienation or struggling to find yourself in a superficial world. She has currently finished her tour for “Before We Forget How To Dream” and will be playing several festivals in the upcoming months. SOAK is also currently writing her second album, “We Made it Up,” which was revealed when she posted a teaser from the next album on Instagram. As a massive fan of the singer, I cannot wait to see what SOAK does next and I hope that the world sees her as the magical artist she is, capable of bringing anyone to tears through her soft-spoken vocals and gut-wrenching lyrics.