Bristol’s alt-rock trio Soeur are set to return with their emphatic second EP Fight. The effort sees them expand on their grungy, unique sound and showcases the range that they have rapidly grown known for. “The songs are all, in some sense, about post-traumatic growth. I think wherever there’s personal growth, there’s always some sort of fight involved.” Vocalist and guitarist Anya has said of the EP. “The title, for me, is both a reminder that we have the strength to fight those battles and an acknowledgement that the fight itself is a fundamental part of change”
The outfit open things with ‘Quiet It’. Subdued and brooding, with melodic grooves and signature intertwining vocals from vocalists Tina and Anya, the track is an assuring nod towards things to come. It’s pace is steady and deliberate. Everything about it feels measured and restrained, poised to deliver maximum impact when needed to. Unsurprisingly, this comes towards the end of the track, where these intertwining vocals accent a mesmerising crescendo.
More subdued guitars greet ‘Track Back’, before being met with more crunching ones at its apex. The stop start nature of the track provides a jarring, wholly effective hard rock vibe. The juxtapositions between the heavier and the more restrained moments on the track prove as effective as ever. The intertwining vocals are another highlight of the tracks more intense passages.
‘Whole Me’ slows things down initially, with vocal harmonies taking precedent, providing one of the accessible moments of the EP. The chorus of the track remedies that though, with the vocalists splitting off from each other and struggling for dominance. Wrapping their voices around each others, twisting and contorting around the track. This provides the cutting edge that the band strive for, even in what initially appear to be their more gentle moments. The result is a sound that is distinctive and vital.
One of the busier tracks on the EP is ‘Out Again’. The track feels like a battle throughout. The dual vocals dance around each other throughout and have the added obstacle of heavy guitar riffs and passages to contend with. The result is a aural assault, as brutal as it is subtle, before dying out to give way to its beautiful acoustic departure.
The title track of the EP comes last. Starting out tonally quiet, but with an imminent feeling of danger from the offset. There is an incredible feeling in the opening part of the track of this being the calm before the storm. As the vocals and instrumentation gradually grow louder and become frantic. Cries of “if I fight it all will it ever be enough” confirm the suspicion. The track is undoubtedly the highlight of the offering. It feels like the culmination of all that has preceded it. It is a short, tactile track that builds and builds, both gracefully and devastatingly. Eventually, all of its pent up rage, and anger, and resentment bubbles to the surface. This is a track that feels brutally real and organic, and invokes emotion and empathy from its audience, held captive by its raw power.
In short, ‘Fight’ is a majestic offering. Both subtle and crushing when it wants to be, often at the same time. Soeur know exactly what they want to do with these tracks and how exactly to do it. While ‘Whole Me’ and ‘Fight’ are highlights, they both represent each extreme of the trio’s sound. The band are at their best at their heaviest, yet are also at the best at their most cerebral and restrained. Range, depth and deftness at pulling and pushing their sound into a range of directions, the signs are encouraging for this young trio.
Soeur self-release Fight on November 17th.