THE SOFTIES

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THE SOFTIES

The Softies, comprised of Rose Melberg and Jen Sbragia, embody timeless themes of friendship and self-discovery through their minimalist pop soundworld. Since their formation in 1994, they’ve created uncluttered and fearlessly vulnerable music, contrasting with prevailing trends. The Bed I Made, The Softies’ first new studio album in 24 years, showcases growth while reflecting on life’s complexities with lyrics drawn from real experiences. Despite individual pursuits and personal losses, Melberg and Sbragia reunite, channeling grief and rejuvenation into an album that captures the essence of their enduring friendship and offers hope and renewal amid life’s challenges. Through their perfectly-paired harmonies and telepathic playing, they navigate the present, past, and future, offering a poignant continuation of their musical legacy, resonating like time spent with an old friend who knows you best.

A pioneer of the home recording movement, Linda Smith released several collections of delicate, bewitching solo music on cassette in the 1980s and 90s. The 2021 release of Till Another Time: 1988-1996, Captured Tracks’ compilation of Smith’s work, has helped bestow rightful critical acclaim to the ahead-of-her-time artist. Now, Captured Tracks dives deeper into Smith’s catalog with the release of two full-length companion albums, Nothing Else Matters and I So Liked Spring, available for the first time on vinyl & streaming formats.

Recorded at Smith’s home in Baltimore in 1995, Nothing Else Matters chronicles the tension between the mundanity of daily life and the creative impulse: ”I was working for Ringling Bros at their corporate headquarters in Northern VA and driving there and back to Baltimore on the DC beltway,” Smith remembers. “I aimed for detachment and some degree of humor in order to see things more clearly.” Traffic noises on the charmingly boisterous “Little To Be Won” showcase this levity, as does the addition of playful hand claps and a laugh track to her striking cover of Young Marble Giants’ “Salad Days.” Despite its homespun inception, the arrangements are sophisticated, as in the bright, percussive opener “The Answer To Your Question.” This complexity is also reflective of Smith’s evolving recording techniques – having outgrown her 4-track tape machine, she’d purchased a Fostex 8-track, on which she recorded both Nothing Else Matters and I So Liked Spring.

I So Liked Spring, recorded the following year, is equally sophisticated in content, and saw Smith experimenting with the unique challenge of putting another artist’s words to music. She’d come across a biography of the English poet Charlotte Mew and found her wistful poetry rife for musical interpretation. “[The] poems offered a new challenge in how to structure a song,” Smith explains. “There were no obvious verses and choruses, and this meant that I had to find another way to put together melody and rhythm based on the lines of the poems.” As a result, the songs on I So Liked Spring are delightfully unpredictable, full of upbeat melodies and spellbinding vocal harmonies. This is perhaps best showcased on the title track, one of Smith’s most popular songs to date, a lovelorn anthem that recalls the airy melodies of early dream pop.

Both of these albums showcase the mesmerizing charm of Smith’s songwriting, often compared to the likes of the Velvet Underground and Laurie Anderson. What unites these artists’ work above all is an avant-garde sensibility, and as such, Smith’s catalog continues to resonate with new listeners nearly 30 years later. Home recording technology has come a long way since Smith first began recording demos on her tape machine, but her influence reverberates through the work of today’s bedroom artists. The release of these two essential albums seeks to further illuminate this connection, welcoming a new generation of listeners to the work of this trailblazing artist.

Emotional World, (members of Flasher, Big Hush, and Kid Claws), began in 2018 as an exercise in an anything-goes approach to songwriting. Often blending noisy, angular guitars and dreamy soundscapes, Owen Wuerker, Emilie Toler, Emma Baker, and Cyd Birch feel most at home chasing the muse that lies between the anxious conscious and subconscious.

Additional Details

Genre - Pop, Indie, Singer/Songwriter

Age Restrictions - All Ages

Supporting Acts - Linda Smith AND Emotional World

Door Time - 07:00 PM

Show Time - 08:00 PM

 

Date And Time

2024-10-04 @ 08:00 PM to
2024-10-04 @ 10:30 PM

Door Time: 07:00 pm

Show Time: 08:00 pm

 

Location

540 Penn St NE Washington DC 20002
 

Event Types

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