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Indie Mixtape 20: Soak Leans On Intuition In Their Third Album, ‘If I Never Know You Like This Again’

Not many artists can say they earned a major career success as a teen, but Bridie Monds-Watson isn’t most artists. The Irish songwriter, who adopts the moniker Soak, found overwhelming success with their 2015 debut album and became the youngest person ever nominated for a Mercury Prize. But with the massive accomplishment also came the immense pressures associated with it.

After crossing over into art-pop territory with their 2019 sophomore album Grim Town, Monds-Watson returns to their jaunty indie rock roots with their newest release, If I Never Know You Like This Again. Infusing contemplations on identity and isolation over cascading chords, Monds-Watson delivers a collection of dazzling and confessional songs. To celebrate the release of If I Never Know You Like This Again, Monds-Watson sat down with Uproxx to talk about enthusiastically rowdy crowds, Phoebe Bridgers, and listening to their gut in our latest Q&A.

What are four words you would use to describe your music?
Honest, self-depreciative, tears, funny?

It’s 2050 and the world hasn’t ended and people are still listening to your music. How would you like it to be remembered?
I like it to be remembered as intentional. That nothing I did was done without purpose.

What’s your favorite city in the world to perform?
You can always rely on a enthusiastically rowdy crowd in Dublin.

Who’s the person who has most inspired your work, and why?
Recently, Jeff Tweedy.

Where did you eat the best meal of your life?
This is literally an impossible question. A few years ago on a press tour I had a day off in Nashville and stood in line for hours alone to get one of those Nashville hot chicken sandwiches (that’s what they’re called right?). The pickle to lettuce ratio was perfect.

What album do you know every word to?
Tegan and Sara’s The Con.

What was the best concert you’ve ever attended?
I saw Bon Iver at Montreux Jazz festival a few years back and Julien Baker opened. The standing area at the venue was built on a slope so I could see super well. I wish all venues were build that way. The show was just *chef’s kiss.*

What is the best outfit for performing and why?
The baggier the better. Minimum effort, maximum result.

Who’s your favorite person to follow on Twitter and/or Instagram?
Phoebe Bridgers wins on all platforms.

What’s your most frequently played song in the van on tour?
If Tommy and James are in the van it’s likely to be anything by The Replacements.

What’s the last thing you Googled?
Why do all Americans have such good teeth?

What album makes for the perfect gift?
A good classic like I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning by Bright Eyes or High Violet by The National.

Where’s the weirdest place you’ve ever crashed while on tour?
An abandoned cottage at the furthest southwest coast of Ireland. Or my car.

What’s the story behind your first or favorite tattoo?
My first tattoo is of Max from Where The Wild Things Are. I used to have my parents read me that book every night as a bedtime story and eventually started asking them to call me Max also.

What artists keep you from flipping the channel on the radio?
Any artist that’s telling the truth. You can tell instantly when someone means what they’re saying in music.

What’s the nicest thing anyone has ever done for you?
Recently an older lady who I’d never met before came up to me outside a bar to tell me she’d been watching me all night, that I had a kind face and that I had lit up the whole bar with my laughing. That was nice. Also my friends got me an air-fryer for my most recent birthday.

What’s one piece of advice you’d go back in time to give to your 18-year-old self?
Be authentic and let your gut guide you. Only take advice from people you respect, especially don’t just take people’s advice because they’re older than you.

What’s the last show you went to?
I was supporting Lucy Dacus on tour recently and watched her set on the last night from an opera box. It was legit.

What movie can you not resist watching when it’s on TV?
Not a movie but if The Office is on then the channel isn’t changing.

What’s one of your hidden talents?
When I was younger I thought I was a genius because sometimes I could predict the next line of pop songs that I’d never heard before. Now I know that’s not super unique and don’t think it’s so special anymore.

If I Never Know You Like This Again is out now via Rough Trade. Get it here.