Photo: Ellius Grace
Irish artist SOAK is dripping with promise as she debuts her latest single, "Valentine Shmalentine." At only 22, SOAK has already released a full-length album, Before We Forgot How To Dream, singles "Knock Me Off My Feet" and "Everybody Loves You," and is set to release her newest album Grim Town in April. SOAK is absorbing praise from all sides, with accolades from NPR, BBC Radio 1, and PASTE already under her belt. If her music wasn't causing a big enough stir in the industry, she will be gracing stages in the UK and Europe this spring on a tour supporting her new album. In her own words, her latest single "Valentine Shmalentine" is "the result of both giving into hallmark and being a dramatic bitch."
The single sounds like a recording from the past, romantic yet somehow unsettling at the same time. The lyrics are incredibly specific, honing in on Twilight Zone-level attention to detail. She sings,
"Purchasing flowers outside of the local bar, such a romantic pound for moulded plastic. Fumbling nails itch a label by accident, your knees naked, the table"
Photo: Ellius Grace
Halfway through the song, the groove changes and hits unexpectedly hard, a welcome surprise just as the listener has settled into the gloom. Her vocals are truly timeless and possess a specific timbre, both tenacious and gentle at the same time. "Valentine Shmalentine" is a sneak peek of SOAK's unreleased project, Grim Town. She comments on the concept behind her forthcoming album, saying,
"It's a dystopia that I've created in my brain: me on the inside, processed into a pretend location. The way I could wrap my head around a lot of what I was going through was to make it feel like something quite physical and real. Once I had the idea of the album being an actual location, exploring the dynamics of this town and what it would look or sound like felt like the right way to give my mental state a personality."
Personifying the intangible is no easy feat, but given the quality of "Valentine Shmalentine," we have full faith that SOAK will deliver on the album. Give her a listen, follow or like, and stay tuned for more.