Nineteen year-old Irish singer-songwriter Bridie Monds-Watson released her debut LP, Before We Forgot How To Dream, today in the US. The album is out on Rough Trade records and features songs entirely new and others that have been in the making for years. The tracklist is heavy and ominous, haunting in a way that seems at once tied to place (i.e. the idea of home, gardens, houses, youth itself) and also not. This is an album imbued with a certain seriousness, a feeling of gravity, and exists as a type of narrative, even if it’s a vague one.
SOAK hits topics with a sense of observation both careful and calculating with lyrics chronicling personal relationships—romantic, familial or otherwise—with wisdom and grace. Lyrics on “Sea Creatures” issue a plea candidly without losing sight of levity, “I pray for you / And you know I don’t like Jesus / Want you to get better / Please, please get better / For you, for me.” Something of a childish wish exists in this prayer in a way that all great hope for others seem somehow innocent in their self-sacrifice.
Self-sacrifice seems to be a common theme for SOAK, as she sings later on the track “24 Windowed House” that “I’ll bring her heaven even if I’m stuck in hell.” On “Blud,” SOAK struggles with family ties when she arrives at a solution: “Quit your employment/ We can work without it/ If it means you will not suffer,” followed again by a realization and promise at once, “You’re in my blood/ I’m in your blood.”
Before We Forgot How To Dream conveys the intensity and quiet aching quality of youth and comes through sincere as all hell.