Soda Blonde – Small Talk: a journey of self-discovery, wrapped in 80s vibes

Photo: Ste Murray

Genre: Alt-Pop

Many know the feeling of a great and unexpected road trip at dusk. The time when the sky is slowly emerging into darkness, making sure to ascend into beautiful shades of dirty pink or purple beforehand. The air turns colder, time feels slower and the music gets louder inside the car. If you mix this all with only a little bit of longing, the outcome will be Small Talk, the debut album of the Dublin-based Soda Blonde which came out earlier this year, in July.

“Down that avenue
Through the lane that we go through
I can tell by the way that you lean
That you’re fine on your own now”

Faye O’Rourke, the lead singer of the band described the tracks on this record as somewhat a feeling of lingering around. In her words, the album is “about life in our 20’s. 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” – she described it for Nialler9 back in March, before the release of Small Talk and I have to say, her words are in perfect alignment with the outcome. The way the lyrics, the sounding, and even the colors on the cover picture are able to radiate the feeling of nostalgia, but at the same time give us a clear message about a change waiting just around the corner is exceptional, and as a young woman in her 20s myself, I understand perfectly how she tried to capture all the bottled up emotions of someone who is ready to begin his or her life but is also deeply terrified of it, not to mention the highs and lows of making new connections and letting go of the ones which no longer serve us and help us become the best version of ourselves. Somewhat it is a journey of self-discovery too; scraping bits of ourselves and shaping them into one big feeling through the power of music.

“Afraid of everybody’s success I confess
Everyone’s dangerous to my ideas of myself
I was lookin’ for a feeling, validate me, shape me, hеal me with love
But from my family and friends and еven you my darling’s not enough”

Faye’s voice and the melodic composition take us back into the 80s in some ways, making it sound like that time where everything seemed simpler, yet it was also a time of transitioning into something different than what people were used to before. I’m not sure if the composition was precisely thought out like this, but it was definitely a good choice for the album to give such vibes (I mean… who wouldn’t want to have a random road trip at night in the middle of the 80s, right?). Nothing captures the feeling of standing in the hallway better, than waiting to be let inside as our society gets modernized day by day throughout the 80s. Small Talk is exactly this waiting time, the borderline between old and new, and the nerve-wracking overthinking of letting go and moving on. If we ever get another album, maybe we will finally be able to step into the challenges of adulthood and the hardships of growing up, but until then, let’s enjoy the bittersweet youth that Soda Blonde served us on a silver platter.

Listen to ‘Small Talk’ here


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Album cover

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