Derry-born singer-songwriter Bridie Monds-Watson (they/them; aka SOAK – a portmanteau of Soul and Folk) started writing songs at the tender age of thirteen, recording their first batch of lo-fi, acoustic demos in secret. Having uploaded an early demo of self-penned standout “Sea Creatures” to the BBC Introducing player in 2012, SOAK was soon hailed as one of the rising stars in Northern Ireland. Featured on the long list of BBC Sound of 2015, their official debut album Before We Forgot How To Dream won the Choice Prize in Ireland, the Northen Ireland Music Prize and was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize, After 2019’s Grim Town, SOAK recently returned with third album If I Never Know You Like This Again, released in May 2022. Recorded with long-time collaborator Tommy McLaughlin (he/him) and SOAK’s band in Donegal, McLaughlin & Monds-Watson wrote most of the album together while listening obsessively to indie greats like Broken Social Scene and Pavement (plus Radiohead’s classic album The Bends). Essentially “nerding out on guitars and pedals like moronic bros,” the result closes the gap between the mid-90s and the summer of ’22. It’s the kind of music that wouldn’t feel out of place in the end credits of a 90s coming-of-age film.