- 25 Nov 21
Soda Blonde return tomorrow with a special stripped-back EP, 'I Still Have Feelings for You' - via Velveteen Records.
Soda Blonde are back with a special stripped-back EP, I Still Have Feelings for You, out on November 26th. The gorgeous project comes complete with four never-before-heard versions of tracks from the Dublin outfit's debut album Small Talk.
Out earlier this year via Velveteen Records, the entirely self-produced album saw the group reflecting on their twenty-something experiences with refreshingly honest transparency.
"To put it simply, Small Talk is about life in our 20s," says Faye O'Rourke, Soda Blonde's enigmatic front woman. "Every part of us is in here, both subliminally and literally. Lyrically, this record is like a collection of my flaws and insecurities. They're lingering awkwardly by the bar at a crowded social gathering, waiting to integrate with the wider world."
All four band members (O’Rourke, guitarist Adam O’Regan, drummer Dylan Lynch and bassist Donagh Seaver-O’Leary) are seasoned musicians, despite their youth. They have been playing together since their early teens, with their previous band – internationally renowned Little Green Cars, whose seminal debut album skyrocketed to number one on the Irish album charts.
O’Rourke has long admitted that when Little Green Cars called it a day, she felt lost and isolated. But a career shift for the four musicians wasn’t in the cards – and Small Talk was self-evident proof, different than anything the group had released before, but full of lessons and growth.
Fresh from the release of the album comes a special EP featuring new versions of album tracks: with strings versions of both ‘Tiny Darkness’ and ‘Choices’, an early demo of ‘Swimming Through the Night’ and the title track to the EP - a single version of ‘I Still Have Feelings for You’.
Hot Press are delighted to premiere the stripped back version of 'Tiny Darkness', full of brooding strings and nostalgic vocal tones. Faye's voice is perfectly on show, brimming with power and control.
"Like most of the songs on this album ‘Tiny Darkness’ went through many iterations before arriving where it is now," Adam tells hot Press. "Early demos have hints of the Pretenders -guitars blazing with open hi-hats. Latter demos are minimal and electronic with percussive Kraftwerk-y arpeggiators. We are always ruthless in our pursuit of a great sound and the journey to find it is not always a straight road. Our guiding light, however, has always been the lyric. Ultimately, the emotional sentiment has to hit home in the right way."
Faye describes writing the track as the light was dimming on their previous band.
"I was very young, exhausted and at the end of my tether. I became fixated on this idea of a washed up lounge singer. It seemed fitting for us to start Soda Blonde with this image in mind. My whole identity had always been wrapped up in music. Without that what was I? The answer is simple. We are what we deem ourselves to be. No more or less."
"In becoming the lounge singer I put myself out of my comfort zone and used whatever sexuality I could muster to test this theory," O'Rourke adds. "The result was a new identity for ourselves. And personally, I manufactured a confidence that never existed before. The performance became reality."
Between sublimely arranged strings, radio-ready melodies sit plain-spoken truths and the hard-learned lessons of a group still at the start of what is sure to be a long journey. Undeniably a coming-of-age record, Small Talk was a dazzling portrait of someone who isn’t afraid to hold the messy parts of herself up for questioning, and the ‘I Still Have Feelings for You’ EP is a brilliant extension
Listen to the new rendition of 'Tiny Darkness' below:
Revisit the band's highly personal July 2021 interview with Hot Press' Tanis Smither here.
SODA BLONDE - Tour Dates
5th December: Cyprus Avenue, Cork SOLD OUT
7th December: Mike The Pies, Listowel SOLD OUT
9th December: Whelans, Dublin (1st show) SOLD OUT
14th December: Roisin Dubh, Galway
15th December: Empire Music Hall, Belfast
16th December: Whelans, Dublin (2nd show) SOLD OUT
19th December: Dolan’s Warehouse, Limerick SOLD OUT
17th July: Iveagh Gardens, Supporting Sinead O'Connor.