Soak is 18 year-old Birdie Monds-Watson, an Irish singer-songwriter who sounds at once wise beyond her years and refreshingly unfamiliar. Before We Forgot How to Dream would be an astonishing debut for any artist, let alone a teenager, let alone a teenager who, according to the liner notes, had been working on these songs for four years prior to recording the album.
Before We Forgot How to Dream is filled with mysterious and uplifting dream-pop songs that can conjure everything from mid-80s 4AD atmospherics to Laura Marling-esque chamber folk to Camera Obscura. Through it all, Soak’s is an entirely fresh voice, and her music is ultimately optimistic and at times lushly orchestrated (“Sea Creatures”). The sparse “Shuvels” is a sublime highlight, setting the bar pretty high for (hopefully many) future Soak releases.