Before We Forgot How to Dream

The teenage years are a rough time for some, with peer pressure, bullying and confusion over self-image. Bridie Monds-Watson—aka SOAK—had her share of trying experiences, but as the debut album from this Northern Ireland singer-songwriter proves, sometimes there is beauty to be found in struggles. “Reckless Behaviour” artfully details the boundless energy of youth, pulled toward feeling free and making a connection to the living world, and on “Blud,” a charming atmospheric sound perfectly augments sentiments of someone being completely woven into the fabric of her life. “B a noBody” wanders into dreamy folk pop while waxing philosophical about the hope that can be found among outcasts, and the otherworldly echoing guitar and piano interlude “If Everyone Is Someone—No One Is Everyone” has the perfect word-puzzle title for a wordless track. Monds-Watson dazzles with a delivery that is reminiscent of Now Now's Cacie Dalager, with an added thick Irish-accented mumbling in places. Just 18 years old, she speaks from a place that already seems wizened, mature, thoughtful. Before We Forgot How to Dream is an enchanting exploration of youthful angst and isolation, and fighting like hell not to let go of the beauty found in the midst of it all.