Soak Makes an Impression at Rough Trade NYC

June 24th, 2016

Soak – Rough Trade NYC – June 23, 2016

Rough Trade NYC buzzed with cheerful excitement last night as everyone waited to see Irish wunderkind Soak. But first, folk-electro-soul duo Overcoats played a bouncy set of songs from their eponymous debut EP. Hana Elion and JJ Mitchell were clad in matching jumpsuits that nicely complemented their coy dance moves. The twosome’s captivating harmonies and trip-hoppy loops were perfect for a live setting.

Bridie Monds-Watson (aka Soak) took the stage solo at the top of her set and played a hushed version of “Shuvels,” a hypnotic track from her debut album, Before We Forgot to Dream. The 20-year-old alt-folk singer offered lyrics of longing, love and fear throughout, her scratchy voice hanging on every word. In between numbers, she told stories of writing songs in the backseat of a car when she was 15 and thinking to herself, “This is a hit. Like a Rihanna hit” and got plenty of laughter from the crowd in response.

But that doesn’t mean Soak doesn’t have any hits of her own. Her single “B a noBody” made a splash worldwide with its modest, heartache-filled lyrics: “Come on, come on, be just like me/ Come on, come on, be a nobody.” “Hailstones Don’t Hurt,” “Garden” and “Sea Creatures” also made it into the set. During a short encore, Soak sang a gorgeous cover of Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me.” Monds-Watson complimented the Brooklyn audience by appreciatively saying, “If I lived in America, I’d probably live here.” —Schuyler Rooth | @SchuylerSpeak