Soft Water
Middle Ground



by SandwichBubble USER (83 Reviews)
October 22nd, 2023 | 5 replies

Release Date: 10/20/2023 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Soft Water’s dream pop blues will stick to you like glue.

I’ve been down on the hazier side of dream pop in the past, and while I don’t think it’ll ever turn into my favorite genre ever or anything like that, I can always appreciate it when a new act comes out of nowhere and does it right. Newfoundland’s Soft Water is one of those acts that’s debuted with a genuine heart-breaker of an album. Middle Ground’s a classic bummer album, drenched in soft sentimentality. One of those albums that puts you in a specific mood when you listen to it. But it earns that right, with some great guitar melodies, tender instrumentation all throughout, and captivating vocals by lead vocalists Jae King and Aaron Powell.

Middle Ground’s themes of loss, longing, and heartbreak pervade the entire tracklist. On tracks like the bittersweet “Utopia,” our narrator flips between reminiscing about better times and questioning whether her feelings were even mutual. “Backyard” is all about the ‘what ifs’ and ‘we could haves’ in life, all from the perspective of someone whose closed the world off. And yes, call me basic, but the indie rock stylings of “About Me” hits me just right, perfectly capturing that depressive haze after a breakup where time seems to slip by without you even noticing. And just when you think you’ve unloaded it all, when you think you’re ready to move on, closing track “Living In The Past” brings you back down to bittersweet reality.

In just over 30 minutes, Soft Water drew me into their sad, lonely “un-love” story and made me care. I didn’t even know this band existed until today, and after hearing their debut, I just want to pat them on the back and tell them “everything’s gonna be alright.” I consider that a job well done for an album in this genre. While I can’t say this one’s for everyone, especially if you’re in a particularly good mood that you don’t want ruined, I found Middle Ground a rewarding listen. Definitely one to save for a rainy, loveless day.

Recent reviews by this author
Faune Des FantômesBeirut Hadsel
Animal Collective Isn’t It Now?Deeper Careful!
Uhr Salathiel HarmsPlastika Plastika
user ratings (5)

Comments:Add a Comment 
October 22nd 2023


Album Rating: 3.5


A short, not-very-good review for a pretty good album. Try it, I guess.

Contributing Reviewer
October 22nd 2023


Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

"dream pop blues" you lost me

"a classic bummer album, drenched in soft sentimentality" you have me

October 22nd 2023


Album Rating: 3.5

Call me Mr. dichotomy.

Hope you dig it, but I cannot guarantee anything. This just hit the right notes for me, I dunno.

October 23rd 2023


Dream pop blues describes Mazzy Star's first album pretty well, is it like that?

October 23rd 2023


Album Rating: 3.5

Maybe a little bit in themes, but this is a lot more hazy and sleepy sound-wise. Think more like slowcore/indie.

I think the review summary is going to throw too many people off (it's a lyric from the album), maybe I should change it.

Edit: Well it's featured now (thank you), so maybe after it drops off the front page.

You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile


Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Site Copyright 2005-2023
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy