Image via Joshua Halling

Image via Joshua Halling

Daily Discovery is a feature that will highlight a new or recently discovered artist that we’re excited about. See the rest of our Daily Discoveries here.

SOAK is 18-year-old Bridie Monds-Watson, and she’s the new addition to the Rough Trade roster. She’s young, but she sounds pretty sure of herself. She’s got freedom, she’s got confidence, and most of all, she’s still having fun. While so many other young artists are experimenting with bright synths and new trends, SOAK is going a different route. And it’s working. There’s nothing flashy about her sound, but it feels as honest and as fresh as anything we’ve heard this year. Meet SOAK.

Are you finished with high school? Are you planning on going to college?
I haven’t done school for two years or so now. I went to music college for a couple months but didn’t last. I’m pretty done with school I think, for now at least.

How do you feel about so much early critical acclaim? Do you feel pressure?
It’s really great that people are liking it, I’m enjoying myself. I feel pressure to be the best I can and write when I can but that’s it, I’ve a lot of freedom.

Does it bother you to get compared to other artists?
Sometimes it’s cool to be compared to artists that I’m a fan of. Although some of the comparisons are funny, like they have no relevance sometimes other than appearance similarities.

Unlike a lot of other young artists right now, your music features more traditional sounds—piano, strings, actual drums. Do you prefer this kind of sound, or would you be open to more electronic production in the future?
My sound will change all the time I think, slowly. I like traditional recording but I’m open everything. If it sounds good then I’m happy. I make what I make and it’s not limited to certain instruments.

You released a song through CHVRCHES’ singles imprint—how’d that come about?
I can’t remember, probably an email happened and then a few more emails happened and voila. It was really fun working with those guys, great label. Their new signing Mansionair are class also.

You’ve been performing in Ireland for years already, but are you nervous to get in front of foreign audiences and play for them? Do you have a full band with you?
I’ve played probably about fifty foreign shows and nothing’s gone terrible so far. Well, on the first day of the Tegan and Sara tour in Copenhagen some guy ran on stage to hug me mid-song. It’s always strange playing to non-English speaking countries because your never sure how many words they understand. I play solo, every now and again with someone else on guitar/keys. For my upcoming headline tour, I’ve a friend playing with me.

Were you at all hesitant to sign a record deal?
I was with most labels that spoke to me but not Rough Trade.

What music are you into right now?
O0o0o0 at the mo I’m listening to Spooky Black, alt-J, Bon Iver’s new track “Heavenly Father” on repeat. Ben Howard’s new track.

If you weren’t doing music full time, what would you be doing?
Doing music full time.

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