2019 album also available on CD.
SOAK (aka Bridie Monds-Watson) returns after four years with a new album, bringing with her four years’ worth of growth, introspection and understanding. The result is her 14 track sophomore album ‘Grim Town’, and is said to tackle "everything from long-distance love, depression, divorce and social anxiety to the changing modern landscape (sexually, politically, emotionally)." ‘Grim Town’ is the follow-up to her Mercury Music Prize-nominated debut ‘Before We Forgot How To Dream’, which saw her win the prestigious Choice Music Prize for Album Of The Year, the Northern Irish Music Prize and the European Border Breaker Award, in addition to being shortlisted for a Q Award.
Her astonishingly assured, emotionally mature songwriting was often hailed as wise beyond its years; but, as her new album often asks, when do we ever truly shake off those childlike fears, the imposter-syndrome, the outsider-status? The term ‘to come of age’ lands with so much expectation but with Grim Town, Bridie dissolves all such assuredness with imaginative, ambitious and cathartic results. It is almost as though the greater soundscape - heavier in places, more pop-focused in others - has given SOAK the confidence to put her long overdue introspections in the firing line.
In a statement, she explained that 'Grim Town's' central premise is "a dystopia that I've created in my brain: me on the inside, processed into a pretend location." She elaborated further: “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.”
Its beauty and brutality is there from the album opener, ‘Get Set Go Kid’, which traces the train tracks out of depression (“I’ve got to get out, I can’t live here anymore!”) and was as inspired by the audio-visual environmentalism of Pink Floyd’s ‘The Wall’ as Bridie’s train-obsessed grandad on voiceover duties.