Track Review: Small Talk // Soda Blonde

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One exciting repercussion of these ‘unprecedented times’ is the tsunami of creativity which is now breaking over us. Riding this wave with their latest release ‘Small Talk’ is Dublin four-piece Soda Blonde. Utilising isolation and lockdowns to be self-reflective, Soda Blonde’s forthcoming album, and titular track ‘Small Talk’, explores their collective experiences as 20-something-year-olds. 

Opening with eerie electronic chimes before the funky beat kicks in, ‘Small Talk’ immediately creates a retro, smoky atmosphere. The full texture of the tune conjures images of a busy room of people, swaying to the glittering alt-pop instrumental. Verses sang in Faye O’Rourke’s richly husky vocals explore the concept of overthinking and social anxiety: “Everything is practiced / talking with tactics”. The frankness of her lyricism combined with the hazy instrumental adds a level of introspection and vulnerability to ‘Small Talk’. Contrasting this fragility with her confident, assertive chorus of “I’m giving up small talk”, Soda Blonde gives a vignette of the binary oppositions, such as extroversion and introversion, that 20-somethings must navigate. 

The band certainly seem to be finding their feet in the musical world, propelling themselves forwards with their lessons learned, and a refreshing transparency in the issues explored in their songs. Speaking about the upcoming record O’Rourke said: “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”.

As the UK begins to edge closer to restriction-free times, conversations are beginning to turn to the anxieties surrounding reintegration. It’s here that O’Rourke’s honesty is at its most relatable, acting as a reminder that we aren’t alone in our insecurities, providing us with even more reason to eagerly anticipate the release of Small Talk. 

Soda Blonde have also announced a UK and Ireland tour set for September 2021, full dates are on their website

Words by Ella McLaren 


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