SOAK’s third album is an anxious love story about accepting yourself.
Derry singer-songwriter SOAK’s new album moves from the melancholy day dream of Grim Town to the guitar heavy nostalgia trip of “If I never know you like this again”.
‘Purgatory’ is the opener and it’s existential dread is balanced with self aware humour. It’s a very relatable song about being human and this big fear of the unknown. It moves to ‘Last July’ where the love story begins, a song about being completely besotted by someone ( “I wanna buy your groceries/I wanna tell you all my weird theories”). It captures the conflict of wanting that person so much that you risk losing yourself.
‘Bleach’ is the scratch book of memories, the small intricacies of someone that stick in your head but all the while a warning from the future appears (“She’s not gonna save you from yourself”). There is a heart-breaking line where the artist fears being replaced by a “posh boy”, “I can’t compete with anatomy/I’ll never be the real deal”. The final verse is euphoric and sung with such passion and emotion which makes it perfect for late night drives like the ones these two shared. On ‘Get well soon’ they’re head over heels and the red flags are being ignored, “I’ll say anything if it keeps you here” goes the chorus.
The second half of the album signals the slow breakdown of this relationship. ‘Red-eye’ throws up the artist’s feeling of homesickness in America, seemingly where the two fell in love. The song is laced with humour through some great lines about an exchange with a waiter where she replies “Oh my God, I’m Irish too”. Though, at the heart is the notion that the distance between them has already started to grow.
This feeling is bled out into the next track ‘guts’ which paints a scene in the car where the artist wants to be open with this person but it all reminds them of how they first fell in love. The intensity is amped up and the final lines “This is too young to be reminiscing/But if I never know you like this again/I couldn’t live with myself” show what could be seen as twenty something melodrama from the outside as something very beautiful and real about losing someone who you lost a lot of yourself to. “Baby, you’re full of shit” peels back the mysticism and wonder of being in love to show the cynicism and disdain that can come once the mirage starts to fade. The line in the refrain of “You’re sixty per cent vegetarian” encapsulating that pettiness.
‘Pretzel’ and ‘Neptune’ are two parts of the end of this love story. ‘Pretzel’ is a night out gone wrong but fit with an amazing chorus. It feels as if the artist is checking out of this relationship as they’ve withdrawn into themselves, and the lyric “Feels like i hugged moving bus” indicates the two are on different courses. ‘Neptune’ is the hangover in more ways in one. It’s the fever dream that’s been foreshadowed as everything goes surreal but the fitting tribute to this person they fell in love with is the line “None of my new beginnings/Can fill the crater you left/No one will know me like this”.
The final track “swear jar” sees the bitterness from their ex in the form of insults following the end of the relationship. But the artist has accepted this now that there’s no more mystery (I know every single thing about you), the final refrain (“Where have I been all my life?/Watching myself from the sidelines/Won’t you wake me up sometime?”) is chanted somewhat optimistically that the love they shared can help them start to discover who they truly are.