UKNY for July 3
Soak's Bridie Monds-Watson (photo by Sam Hiscox, PR)
When Bridie Monds-Watson, who records as Soak, first visited WFUV back in 2015, they were a shy, soft-spoken teenager, slightly overwhelmed by the attention lavished upon their critically-acclaimed debut album, Before We Forgot How to Dream. The record won Ireland's Choice Music Prize as album of the year and garnered Bridie a Mercury Prize, but the pressure was a lot for the young musician to bear.
Depression and severe writer's block eventually eased for the young songwriter's second album, 2019's Grim Town, but during their performance at Rockwood Music Hall for FUV, Bridie still seemed to be grappling with uncertainty about their artistic direction.
But that's changed, spurred on by Bridie's newfound freedom after coming out as non-binary and coming to terms with a sound that hews far closer to how they want to sound. The result, If I Never Know You Like This Again, is a triumphant celebration of self, wreathed in muscular guitarwork, incisive and witty lyrics, and a genuinely euphoric Bridie. On "UKNY" tonight at 11 p.m., my third "FUV Live" session with this gifted musician, and definitely one that finds them in a far more confident and cheerful frame of mind.
I'll also have a set inspired by Adele's Hyde Park shows in London this past Friday and Saturday — notably some of the female musicians she handpicked as openers, including Nilüfer Yanya, Self-Esteem, and Mahalia. Also, Athens-based ∑tella and Poppy Ajudha's anthem for reproductive rights.
1. FUV Live session with Soak (includes live performances of “Swear Jar,” “Bleach” and “Last July.”
2. Self Esteem, “I Do This All the Time,” Prioritise Pleasure
3. Nilüfer Yanya, “Chase Me,” Painless
4. Mahalia, “In the Club,” Letter to Ur Ex EP
5. Tiana Major9 and Earthgang, “Collide,” Queen & Slim soundtrack
6. (Athens, GR) ∑tella, “Titantic,” Up and Away
7. Poppy Ajudha, “Playgod,” The Power in Us