*Originally published for The Generator's Tipping Point blog (19/11/12)
Hello there again, girl + guitar. You’ve been defying the music industry of late with your Marlings, Roses and Daughters and you’ve been doing a fine job of it. Is it beginning to wear a bit thin, though? Aren’t we beginning to tire of all the cute acoustics and breathy vocals? No, not just yet, because 16 year old Bridie Monds-Watson a.k.a. SOAK is here to shake things up a bit.
Originally from Belfast but now based in Derry/Londonderry, the unsigned singer-songwriter has already released two EPs, supported bands like The Undertones and Villagers and even leapt onto the Radio 1 playlist. It’s not so much the complexity of her music that has stirred such attention, but its simplicity. Listen the components of her latest single, ‘Sea Creatures’ (taken from her recent EP of the same title) and you’ll see why. There are no interweaving guitars, just a gently plucked acoustic. There isn’t a full-sized drum kit pelting in the background, just a gently rumbling cajon drum. Dust those elements with the most untouched vocals imaginable, and you’ve got a perfect little nugget of acoustic pop.
Far beyond musical analysis of ‘Sea Creatures’ is the importance of SOAK’s lyrics: lyrics that tell of innocence and experience. “They don’t know what love is, throw it around like it’s worthless,” her precocious head cries, but we also hear her cursing the juvenile “Sea Creatures” that inhabit her world. She’s at once older than her years, yet too young to be ahead of them. That’s her charm.
The ‘Juno’-isms and the twee nature of her music might not suit everyone, but there’s no denying that SOAK has penned a contagious number in ‘Sea Creatures.’ It’s bound to stick in more heads to come.
*Tip comes courtesy of Damian Baetens