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Single Review: Soak – Swear Jar

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A morning pages writing excercise conducts shock waves of electricity more often than not, and Soak’s latest material takes this school of thought and grabs it by the horns. With their free-form, bitter, and somewhat darkly humorous lyrics (potent on the last two singles too – best heard on Purgatory); alongside an accompanying music video, portraying some serious madness (a loop of Monds Watson running around a car park repeatedly), Soak find a way of making it hard to dislike them, standing loose in the pleothera of 90s esque indie-folk music hitting the airwaves right now, with cutting lines such as ‘Things only look the way you wanna see them. I can’t stand it when you wake up optimistic’.

Still, despite the lyrical content being as raw as it is, a few personal frustrations come with the instrumentation being a little undercooked. Something that builds a wall against Soak being more defining still. One could argue that there is some much-needed backup support – even if it’s the smallest tweaking in guitar technique and structure, for Monds Watson’s biting lyrical content. Despite some gripes with the studio recorded track, the acoustic version – complete with blemishes of the outside world – comes across to this critic more as an emotional statement than the former, told to you by a street busker with personal anguishes to share.

Their newest album If I Never Know You Like This Again, is released this Friday on Rough Trade Records, following up 2019’s Grim Town and 2015’s Mercury Prize nominated We Forgot How To Dream.

Hear the single below in both natural and acoustic forms.

SOAK will also be scattering thesmelves over the UK playing live shows towards the end of the month. Check out the dates below.

MAY
25 Dolan’s, Limerick
26 Whelan’s, Dublin
28 YES, Manchester
29 The Caves, Edinburgh
31 Village Underground, London

JUNE
01 Patterns, Brighton
02 Thekla, Bristol