SOAK’s debut Before We Forgot How to Dream is an exquisite melancholy fourteen track album.
My Brain, which is a beautiful instrumental start to the album, sees SOAK aka Birdie Monds-Watson showcase the opening narrative of his formative years of growing up in Northern Ireland. The minute long track is a segway into the album and track B a noBody. The use of electric guitars accompanied by a strings section is perfect for a relaxed Sunday with SOAK’s chalky vocals taking centre stage of B a noBody.
Tracks such as Blud and Sea Creatures, which were both released as singles from the album, are receiving wide attention and air play on radio’s making a name for the 19 year old in a short amount of time. Both tracks showcase SOAK’s talent for music and in particular how remarkable her song writing skills are writing tracks respectively as a 14/15 year old. Blud, which sees SOAK herself showcase a hidden talent of drumming on the track is beautifully written and will be played across more of this summer through radio’s and festivals gaining the recognition it rightly deserves. Sea Creatures is catchy and fun track displaying personal teenage thoughts of the time with “The Stars and the moon remind me of you” and how SOAK’s vulnerability comes through.
A Dream to Fly is another instrumental track marking halfway through the album and seeing a different second sound and approach to the poignant Before We Forgot How to Dream.
24 Windowed House has a heavenly guitar with soft melancholy vocals being a highlight track from the album. They are noticeable comparisons to fellow folk singer Laura Marling however the openness and song topics are comparable to US blues singer Valerie June who discusses main topic of song writing are family.
Garden is the most fast-paced track from the album with heart-felt lyrics such as ‘Waste my time on you” and a personal insight into the 19 year olds complex teenage feelings of arguments and growing up in Northern Ireland. Track Shovels sees SOAK’s spiritual style of music come to live getting mesmerised listening to the acoustic guitar.
Before We Forget How to Dream is a stunning debut album and signals great things to come for the Londonderry born musician. The narrative of the album has a distinctive beginning, middle and end with the short instrumental tracks and If Everyone is Someone-No Everyone is Everyone marking a close of noticeable fresh talent in the UK.
Before We Forget How to Dream is available through Rough Trade Records and is available now.
Graduate Multimedia Journalist, Online Editor at CIO UK and contributing writer at Culturefly and Contact Music.