Life itself plays out via a wide array of moods and tones. So, it’s fitting that Soda Blonde’s aptly titled Dream Big, dances across this complexity thematically with the same musical multitudes. Producing a dizzying ensemble of genre melding flourishes, Soda Blonde’s ability to meld the personal with the stylistic comes to the fore on a grander scale.
‘Midnight Show’ introduces Dream Big’s over-arching sound with a flurry of strings, disco beats, and call/response vocals. This pin-point pop aesthetic works in contrast with the darkened corners of the lyrics, as lines like “Everything is changing but I don’t grow” and “I’m not understood nearly all of the time” speak to the thematic thread the rests in the record’s undercurrent, mirroring the sonic scale, lyrical intimacy and want for more.
Further to this, Soda Blonde craft an album of dynamic twists and turns. From the expansive sound of the title-track, the sonic spectrum filling beat of ‘WWDWD’, and the waltzing glisten of ‘An Accident’, Dream Big rises and falls in intensity. This sense of scale gives the record a cohesive feel as the songs blend into one another, whilst having distinct characteristics of their own. All of which adds to the color and shape of Dream Big.
Dream Big finds intimacy in ambition, beauty within the bustle and life somewhere in between
However, it’s ‘Bad Medicine’ that provides Dream Big’s zenith. Encapsulating the intricate production and musicality at the record’s heart, the interlocking buzzing backdrop, shimmering flourishes, and powerful vocal performance play off one another with precision. While the lyrics play into the clipped, jolted feel with passages like “Every part of me like a bad machine. Breaking everything all the time. Every part of me has been wired to repeat. I got a bad desire by design”. Followed by the soaring ‘Boys’, the album contains a powerful one-two punch.
And so it goes, Dream Big finds intimacy in ambition, beauty within the bustle and life somewhere in between. Soda Blonde’s second outing expands on their ability to deliver heart-wrenching pop passages with a record that is big on scale and bigger on meaning. The raw songwriting, ear for a great pop hook and layered musicality are all on full display, but now with an added sense of scale and drama.