“Soak” by Blue Lupin is a Beautiful Lo-fi Love Letter


There seems to be a lot of songs about creative people.

Songs about singers, artists and actors are a popular subject. Hey, I’ve done it more than once. Bands and singers love to honour their heroes in song.

But the actual act of creativity seems a much rarer subject. Until I heard “Soak” by Blue Lupin I’ll admit I hadn’t given this a thought.

This lo-fi love letter to finding inspiration starts with a gently edited repeating choir of ooos that set the initial tune in motion before being joined by electric guitar. Those understated guitar chords continue as Joanna Wolfe’s delicately beautiful singing is then given centre stage and she starts with the only mention of the song’s title.

And “Soak” is an interesting title. It seems a good choice for the subject matter. In order to be creative, you have to soak yourself in it, give in to it, have it envelop you. But creativity isn’t like maths: there aren’t any definitive answers. And Wolfe acknowledges this in the chorus:

Too far too soon

Make space give it room

It’s coming now it’s coming through

Let it in let it bloom

And she also describes creativity’s unexpected flashes of inspiration:

Wait for it to arrive

To my surprise it’s in my eye

It’s in yours too

You hold the room

You hold the room

Maybe it’s the romantic in me, but I like to think that there is a moment between her and the person holding the room, perhaps their eyes meet and they both smile knowingly that it’s the start of something that may have a lasting impression. Even if not, I really love the way she uses that person holding the room as the final point in the song before the drums finally kick in.

That person may be the one who starts quietly singing the chorus along with her as gurgling guitars, synth riffs and stabs, start rippling underneath and he stays for the vast majority of the rest of the song.

Is he the one she’s telling to stick with it, not give up yet?

With every change from verse to chorus and back again, the production of the song builds but in such an unassuming way as to conjure the feeling of a dream coming into focus or something being slowly crafted. A ride cymbal becoming more prominent after a chorus, a fragile piano playing in the background of a verse, it’s all sympathetic to the overriding meaning of the song, of inspiration soaking into you.

Finally the song opens up, heavier and triumphant for a very short time, and Wolfe seems to sing:

You’re alive when you stop

Another language moving in the dark

Taste the fear on your tongue

The world just vanished

It’s as if her companion survived the experience but creativity is still lurking somewhere in the shadows, leaving you alone and scared by its absence.

And finally she sings into dust alone and the song ends on a minor chord, an uncertain end to a clever and affecting debut about the backwards and forwards, the start and stop, of successfully making something out of nothing.


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