Bristol alt-rock trio Soeur will unleash their new EP ‘Fight’ on Friday, 17th November (pre-order here) - but you don’t need to wait until then to hear it. The five-track release takes influence from strident heavyweights like PJ Harvey, with callbacks to 90s grunge and math-rock. It’s a statement of intent going into the new year, and you can check out the full thing below beneath dual-vocalists Tina and Anya’s track by track run-through.
Tina - 'Quiet It' is a dialogue where I’m trying to understand and help someone who is quite obviously struggling mentally. Too often people either try to hide what they’re going through or aren’t comfortable talking about it. My viewpoint is that help is out there if you’re willing to take it.
Anya - 'Quiet It' depicts my struggle with mental health and in particular the ups and downs of living with a mood disorder, likening the colossal shifts in mood to the tide changing. It begins with the desperation of clinging to the highs as they start to dissipate and the denial that a low could be coming. The song progresses to a realisation that in understanding accepting the (sometimes inevitable) onset of a depression, you are able to brace yourself for its impact and seek support instead of breaking yourself trying to fight it.
Tina - It’s so easy to go through life getting stuff wrong and blissfully ignoring it because it’s the easy way out, especially if it didn’t cause too much of a ripple in your life. 'Track Back' is about being aware of the things you do, admitting to yourself when you’ve made a mistake and trying to put it right or making a conscious effort not to do it again. I believe everything we do matters, and whilst it’s okay to make mistakes, we need to learn from them and welcome the struggle that comes with recovering, however impossible it may seem.
Anya - The initial theme for 'Track Back' came from Tina, and it took me a while to figure out how to approach the same subject of reflecting on mistakes using my own personal experience. It ended up becoming one of the most emotional songs on the EP for me, looking back on how I let ties break between myself and a friend who ended up committing suicide and wondering whether I could or should have done anything differently. I think losing someone in that way evokes a lot of guilt for the people close to them and it was difficult not only feeling it myself but seeing everyone else bear the blame as well. I think suicide, particularly in young men, is a huge issue that is not nearly discussed enough and it should be. I have seen this experience open up dialogues within my social circles that have made people feel more comfortable reaching out when they feel low, it has opened our eyes to the struggles everyone else endures and has, in turn, allowed us to create a more emotionally supportive network.
Anya - 'Whole Me' is about the idea that loss leads to growth and is, in some sense, about trying to teach someone how to make that journey from loss to growth. The chorus is more introspective; it is about the futile pursuit to fill the hole that is left when you lose someone and the uncomfortable feeling you get when you try to. I think it is only when we stop trying to fill these holes with food, booze, drugs, sex (or whatever else it is that we depend on for comfort), that we are able to accept them not just as a part of who we are but as an essential part of our learning and growth as a person. I certainly feel that in a lot of ways, my emotional scars have made me a better person and believe that we are not so much defined by the way we break as we are the way we choose to put ourselves back together.
Anya - 'Out Again' was initially written about overcoming anxiety but I think it can be applied to any mental obstacle. It’s about being able to come at your problems head-on, with a more positive perspective, it’s about learning to break the mould of our damaging habits and understanding that what we feel is temporary. Sometimes you have to dig deep to find the root of your behaviours, you have to force yourself to feel the difficult emotions and find new ways to combat them.
Tina - Following a conversation with an old friend, I was inspired to write about how he'd fallen in love with the idea of protecting his country but ultimately left the army despising what he was fighting for. Like many of our songs, it's meaning transcends this particular situation. Whether it’s an abusive relationship, addiction to substances or belief in ideals that don’t positively serve you, we’ve all got a fight on our hands and we’re strong enough to overcome any obstacle.
Anya - I think the initial idea for ‘Fight’ was from a soldier’s perspective on a war they are fighting but it ended up being about all sorts of things. It is essentially the journey from beginning to question something, to demanding a reason for it, to deciding to stop it and eventually, deciding to fight against the thing that was once blindly fought for. I think it’s easy to accept what we are taught but it is only by questioning it that we truly learn. Whether it’s a war, an abusive relationship, a mental illness or a society-instilled stereotype, this song reminds us that we have the power not only to stop fuelling the cause but to actively fight against it.