By Clare Martin
Soda Blonde’s debut album Small Talk is one of the records we’re mostly excited for this summer, and each single release only further whets the appetite. Their latest song, “Holy Roses,” is a “moment of reckoning” for frontwoman Faye O’Rourke, as well as a deeply personal and cathartic listen.
“So many of us use rejection as fuel to justify stagnancy or living in the past. ‘Holy Roses’ provides me with some closure and I feel it’s one of the most important tracks on the album,” O’Rourke explains. “I am directly addressing the people in my past who have hurt me in this song.
“The Rose is symbolic of war and the fleetingness of life and death. It also represents the fall of Christianity, which I compare not only to our country’s dying Catholic status but to the oppression I felt throughout my own personal and work life. ‘Holy Roses’ is the moment of reckoning for me, in all respects. I’m letting go of the people who have hurt me and my old way of living”
Her voice begins gentle and slightly smoky on “Holy Roses,” before being joined by guitarist Adam O’Regan on the pre-chorus. Their vocals intertwine sinuously—“So many fights / So much nothing in the bed”—in hushed tones, like swiftly running water, until a dam bursts for the chorus. O’Rourke is reminiscent of Kate Bush here, with incredible vocal range and emotional resonance. The song pulsates with the tension of unresolved fights and regretted words, but O’Rourke pushes past that to find freedom on the other side.
Listen to “Holy Roses” below and check out Soda Blonde’s Irish and U.K. tour dates further down. You can pre-order their self-produced album Small Talk, out 9th July via Velveteen Records, here.