SOAK has today unveiled beautiful new track ‘Valentine Shmalentine’, which is available now. Together with new single ‘Knock Me Off My Feet’ and returning track ‘Everybody Loves You’, ‘Valentine Shmalentine’ is taken from Bridie’s much-anticipated second album, ‘Grim Town’, which will be released on Rough Trade Records on April 26th. Having just toured the US and confirmed a run of UK and European shows for the spring, ‘Grim Town’ follows the success of SOAK’s multi-prize-winning debut album ‘Before We Forgot How To Dream’, and an extraordinary period of invention and self-discovery for the still-just-22-year-old Derry native.
Haunting, atmospheric and brutally honest, ‘Valentine Shmalentine’ – says Bridie – is “the result of both giving into hallmark and being a dramatic bitch.” It’s a stark highlight from SOAK’s second album ‘Grim Town’, a record that takes those most despondent moments (such as a disastrous Valentine’s Day) and ultimately finds hope and humour in them.
The central premise of ‘Grim Town’, says SOAK, is “a dystopia that I’ve created in my brain: me on the inside, processed into a pretend location. 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.” So if debut album ‘Before We Forgot How To Dream’ was conceived as a time-capsule of innocence, vividly capturing those moments in adolescence when anything felt possible, ‘Grim Town’ perhaps examines the reality: on what happens next after you enter adulthood (but actually feel more in crisis than ever), and the world around you isn’t what was promised to you or your generation.
A record about getting lost that you can, also, truly get lost in, ‘Grim Town’ arrives as inspired by the audio-visual environmentalism of Pink Floyd’s ‘The Wall’ as the production of Arcade Fire, Broken Social Scene or Phoebe Bridgers. With an unflinching approach, Bridie tackles everything from long-distance love, depression, divorce and social anxiety to the changing modern landscape (sexually, politically, emotionally). And it’s accepting the jumble of emotions which make you ‘you’ that emerges as the ultimate message of ‘Grim Town’, with its suitably placeless universe in which everybody’s personal ‘Grim Town’ looks different, but everybody’s matters.
3rd May – Liverpool Sound City Festival @ District – Liverpool, UK
5th May – Hit the North – Newcastle, UK
6th May – Library – Kendal, UK
10th May – Band On The Wall – Manchester, UK
11th May – Wardrobe – Leeds, UK
12th May – King Tuts – Glasgow, UK
14th May – Hare and Hounds – Birmingham, UK
15th May – Academy 2 – Oxford, UK
16th May – Thekla – Bristol, UK
17th May – Islington Assembly Hall – London, UK
19th May – Rotonde – Brussels, BE
20th May – Bitterzoet – Amsterdam, NL
22nd May – Prinzenbar – Hamburg, DE
23rd May – Privatclub – Berlin, DE
24th May – Artheater – Cologne, DE
25th May – Ward Park – Bangor, UK (supporting Snow Patrol)
28th May – Live at St Lukes – Cork, IE
29th May – Dolan’s – Limerick, IE
30th May – Button Factory – Dublin, IE