Track Review: Small Talk // Soda Blonde


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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