Derry, Ireland’s SOAK, a/k/a Bridie Monds-Watson, is back today with beautiful new single “Everybody Loves You,” available now via Rough Trade Records. Listen to the song — which debuted as Annie Mac’s Hottest Record in the World on BBC Radio 1 — now HERE. SOAK has also confirmed a handful of intimate live shows in Ireland and the U.K., including a London show at Omeara on November 29th. A current itinerary is listed below.
“Everybody Loves You” is the first sight of new SOAK material since 2015’s critically-acclaimed debut album, Before We Forgot How To Dream, which earned praise from The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, NPR Music, Noisey, NYLON, Bust, The Guardian, NME, and more. One of the Mercury Prize’s youngest-ever nominees, she also won the prestigious Choice Music Prize for Album of the Year, the Northern Irish Music Prize, and the European Border Breaker Award. Touring extensively all the while, Bridie has also been hard at work on her forthcoming second album that will see a release next year.
Always an artist of remarkable emotional power, lyrical depth and an instantly-identifiable sound and visuals, SOAK begins the next, clean chapter in her unique story with “Everybody Loves You.” The song’s soundscape is at once bigger yet closer than ever — experimental, but more direct. “Everybody Loves You,” writes Bridie, “is a song about extreme denial. More specifically about my stubborn ability to convince myself I don’t want something that I do and blind my rational thought process. I suppose in this case, as a way of self-protection (and avoiding vulnerability). The lift at the end of the song (“Everybody wants you, And I do too”) represents the almost comedic/foolish acceptance of my own feelings. A 360 turn of events in which I then so desperately want all that I had rejected and pushed away. A consistent theme of my younger self.”
“Everybody Loves You” offers a window into the tightly-constructed world of SOAK’s second record as well as an unflinchingly honest portrait of where Bridie — and, indeed, many of her generation who love easily, but struggle to love themselves — now arrive. Here is an artist often hypothesising over the future while simultaneously looking to the past for answers to The Big Questions: what happens next, when you have supposedly grown up and moved on; how possible true change (internal, external) ever really is; and, perhaps, the importance of remembering those things that matter and you take with you always, as you embark on another adventure.
Still just 22 years old, “Everybody Loves You” may firmly shake off any shackles of the skating teenage tomboy who first introduced herself with the timeless “Sea Creatures.” But it retains that alchemy of old-soul wisdom and youthful positivity which are quintessentially SOAK’s own.