SOAK Introduces a Nostalgic New Sound with “last july”

Photo by Sam Hiscox

By Ella Bowler

SOAK announced a new album and lead single for their record If I Never Know You Like This Again, out May 20 via Rough Trade. 

The queer Northern Irish musician released their sophomore album Grim Town in 2019. With their initial sound adhering to Japanese Breakfast and Lana Del Rey in order to capture the angst that comes with youth’s departure, it has transformed to live somewhere between The Cranberries and Pillow Queens, as SOAK leans into a nineties-nostalgic-rock sound in their latest single release, “last july.” 

“I hate the idea of getting older and forgetting, or having a family and not being able to perfectly explain a memory or feeling. I always want to remember exactly how I felt at a certain moment,”  they state in a press release. “This record is the most accurate picture of me. I felt no pressure at all, it was almost like I was ranting as I was writing. When I was looking to the past, it was as though I had a big lottery ball of all my recent memories and I would just randomly select which one I wanted to unpack. It helped me to process that.” 

A “last july” music video was also released. Directed by Ellius Grace, it presents a dreamscape montage of nostalgia; Watson and their partner running through a house, holding hands and dancing.

Watch the music video below and pre-order If I Never Know You Like This Again here.

Pride Profiles: SOAK

To celebrate Pride, we’ll be highlighting a different Irish artist from the LGBTQIA+ community each day in June as part of our Pride Profiles series.

By Hannah Quearney

Listen If You Like

Fenne Lily, Marika Hackman, Aldous Harding

Who They Are

It’s difficult to believe at this point that SOAK — known outside of their portmanteau moniker as Bridie Monds-Watson — hasn’t been awarded some kind of veteran status for the work they’ve been putting out for almost a decade. Ever since they emerged from the Derry music scene at age 16, the songwriter’s coming of age can be tracked tangentially to their musical output quite easily. Just as we’ve watched Monds-Watson grow from a punkish rag-tag teenager into a refined (yet incredibly cool) adult, we have watched their graduation from gloomy indie-folk aesthetics into lush art-pop stylings. A cloud has lifted between the releases of their prodigal debut album Before We Forgot How To Dream and their sophomore effort Grim Town, their sound becoming more full-bodied as their identity becomes more sharper in their mind. They don’t anticipate change, but they warmly invite it instead.

Their latest single is most indicative of this change. Featuring Saint Sister’s Gemma Doherty, ‘I’m Alive’ is a solemn spoken word piece birthed out of lockdown ennui. Exploring the idea of how it feels to “wake up” after a long depressive episode, Monds-Watson abandons #BeKind sentiments in favour of steady catharsis. With self-discovery as the aim of their game, it’s looking like a third album is in the works and we couldn’t be more excited.

Watch the visualiser for “I’m Alive” below: