Derry’s imaginative folk ingénue Bridie Monds-Watson, better known as SOAK, has a big US tour opening for the Lumineers right now. But as that winds up this weekend, SOAK and her band continue on the road with a few headlining shows of their own.
The SOAK headlining tour lands at DC9 on Friday, June 24. The 19-year-old SOAK visited DC9 alone last year to perform songs from her debut album, Before We Forgot How to Dream, which came out via Rough Trade Records in 2015.
I saw SOAK perform at DC9 on July 12, 2015, and she gave us absorbing songs that pondered the nature of relationships, whether with her parents or with her friends at school.
“SOAK is most certainly a dreamer and given to delightful whimsy,” I wrote in a previous review. “For her visit to DC, she drew a picture of herself on the roof of the White House with President Barack Obama. In the picture, the White House is flying a rainbow flag in celebration of the Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, which affirmed the right to marriage for same sex couples in all 50 states. The DC9 crowd cheered at SOAK’s sentiment, and the little lady with the big voice seemed content for a time to be among friends.”
Watch the official music video for “Reckless Behaviour” by SOAK on YouTube:
Be warned, as I said previously: “If you like soulful folk pop, you’ll love SOAK. Be prepared however. This teenager’s big heart and penchant for tackling sad topics may stir your own soul as well as your ears.”
Tickets are available online.
Friday, June 24
SOAK performs at Rough Trade East in London on March 28, 2015. (Photo by Aurelien Guichard)
When Bridie Monds-Watson was 14-years old, a friend of hers was being bullied by another girl at school in Ireland.
Saddened by the experience, Bridie, now better known as SOAK, took to writing a song in a stream of consciousness manner to deal with the resulting feelings.
“I don’t understand/what her problem is/I think she’s just a fish!” SOAK wrote of her friend’s tormentor in a song that came to be called “Sea Creatures.”
That sort of quirky train of thought runs throughout all of SOAK’s songs, which she writes primarily to deal with things happening in her life. She delivers those songs in a soulful booming voice that belies her diminutive, now 19-year-old, stature. On stage, she’s friendly and warm with a touch of shyness as she strums a guitar that accompanies her haunting voice.
At DC9 on Sunday night, SOAK opened her show with “Explosions,” and the very full room immediately fell silent upon the opening notes of the sad folk pop song.
Watch SOAK perform “Explosions” for The Sunday Sessions, recorded live in The Workman’s Club, Dublin, on Oct. 19, 2014:
An offbeat 19-year-old girl from Northern Ireland has a haunting voice that spins soulful folk pop, and she’s bringing it to DC9 on Sunday, July 12.
Bridie Monds-Watson is known as SOAK, and she released her debut album on Rough Trade Records on June 2. The album, Before We Forget How to Dream, deals with themes of growing up in isolation
Single “Sea Creatures,” released in February, squarely deals with those feelings of loneliness and isolation with its reminder that “they don’t know what love is” in reference to people who may be like the titular sea creatures. Watch the video for the single on YouTube:
“B a Nobody,” another track from the new album, speaks of being a lost teenager, continuing the fragile streak of loneliness and isolation.
Listen via Soundcloud:
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DC folk singer Marian McLaughlin opens for SOAK. Tickets are available online and at the door.
w/ Marian McLaughlin
Sunday, July 12