Soko – Feel Feelings

A very slow, melancholy corker.
Released: 12th June 2020
Rating: ★★★★

If you’re having trouble writing a new album, why not try abstaining from all physical intimacy for 18 months? It worked for Soko, so from now on we’ll assume it’d work for everyone else, too. The result of this…unique approach to recording is Soko’s third studio album, ‘Feel Feelings’, and it’s a corker. Admittedly it’s a very slow, melancholy corker – more a bottle of expensive merlot than a celebratory champagne, but it’s still very good.

Woozy instrumentals rule the day, weaving in and out of Soko’s vocals and creating what can only be described as an “atmosphere” (we know, we’re sorry for the ambiguity). Lead single ‘Are You A Magician’ kicks off the proceedings with a bang, the contrasting vocals leaving an immediate impression that stays with you for the whole album.

‘Blaspheme’, Soko’s first song recorded entirely in her native French, also leans into the treacle-thick mood and, whilst we don’t speak French, we’ve been reliably informed that the lyrical themes match the album as a whole, exploring the emptiness after a break-up. ‘Replaceable Heads’ is another highlight, with a melodic chorus giving way to a spoken-word monologue that finds Soko asking herself why she always ends up dating the same kind of toxic man, just with a different face.

As the album draws to a close, the songs somehow take the tempo down even further, matching the candlelit vibe with lyrics about past loves, pain, and pent-up desire. We did warn you that it wasn’t an upbeat album to stick on in the car.

What with the lockdown and the state of the world right now, people’s dating lives have taken a real hit, making ‘Feel Feelings’ the perfect album for right now. Years of dating left Soko with nothing but heartbreak, whilst 18 months without any *ahem* intimacy led to arguably her best album yet – every cloud, and all that.

Jake Hawkes

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