When we first met Bridie Monds-Watson, the Irish singer-songwriter who performs as SOAK, she was a 17-year-old with a lot of promise. Since then she’s released her Rough Trade debut album, Before We Forgot How To Dream, and shed her teenage skin. Now, at 22, Monds-Watson returns with her first track in three years, and it ripples with her usual, poignant clarity.
“Everybody Loves You” works through the process of finding that clarity. It’s about the lies we tell ourselves that become our shields and the eventual acceptance of our real emotions. The chorus is a rejection: “Everybody wants you/ Not me today cause I’m done/ Everybody loves you/ Not me no way I don’t work that way.” But during the bridge, she slips into a sugary dream state, admitting, “Everybody loves you/ And I do too.”
In the track’s accompanying visualizer, an animated caterpillar crawls through a ziplock bag while red hearts pulse and swell. The caterpillar never transforms into a butterfly, but the the lyrics suggest that its metamorphosis is in sight.
In an email, Monds-Watson dug deeper into the song’s meaning:
“Everybody Loves You” is a song about extreme denial. More specifically about my stubborn ability to convince myself I don’t want something that I do and blind my rational thought process. I suppose in this case, as a way of self-protection (and avoiding vulnerability). The lift at the end of the song (“Everybody wants you, And I do too”) represents the almost comedic/foolish acceptance of my own feelings. A 360 turn of events in which I then so desperately want all that I had rejected and pushed away. A consistent theme of my younger self.
“Everybody Loves You” is out now on Rough Trade.