SOAR is four-piece indie band comprised of guitarist/vocalist Shannon Bodrogi, drummer/vocalist Rebecca Redman, and guitarists/bassists/vocalists Jenna Marx and Mai Oseto. The members are mainstays of the San Francisco Bay Area’s music scene, where they spent time in a number of local groups, including Joyride, Watercolor Paintings, Void Boys and Dreamspoiler, before coming together in 2015.
Following a demo (“wilt“) last year, SOAR will make its full-length debut with the release of dark / gold on August 25 (a vinyl pressing will follow later this fall). The album is a collection of 90s influenced, mid-tempo punk tunes characterized by a melancholic edge, vivid, introspective lyrics, and four-part vocal harmonies. Along with eight new songs, the record contains two re-worked tracks from the demo.
“Keeping a Record” is the latest single to be released from the album. The lyrics were based off of a half-filled journal Bodrogi found in a resale shop, in which a woman had detailed the everyday events of a her life. “I am sentimental almost to the point of neurosis, in a way where I will keep little scraps of paper from tea bags, or a remanent of a broken umbrella from a memorable moment, or I’ll pick up rocks from various places and keep them indefinitely; things of these sorts. I wrote this song during a time of attempting to purge. It quite literally came down to me pulling out a record a past love had given to me and thinking to myself I am going to keep this record,” she says.
“To keep a record means to document and preserve your experience and I can’t help but think about how we don’t always or haven’t always had this opportunity, especially for marginalized voices—whether you are considering language barriers, or access to resources, or what the dominant narratives are, or blatant silencing of discourses that threaten those in power. … This song takes place in what appears mundane but speaks to something so essential—the importance of having agency over our own story,” Marx adds.
Through the song, SOAR toys with the double meaning of “record” as a document and as something to listen to. “The line “I’m keeping the record you gave to me,” is in a way a grateful nod to everyone who has helped me along my creative path, especially those that have helped me to actualize dreams of producing vinyl records of my own music. In the sense of autobiographical archiving, I think it’s incredibly important and I am deeply attached to art that explores this idea,” Bodrogi says.
For musicians, music is oftern even more linked to memory than words on a page. “I really appreciate this song because I have the tendency to keep most things in my life pretty ephemeral,” Redman says. “I have a terrible memory for people, faces, and events, so I usually don’t even bother. Music is different, though. It doesn’t take extra attention to memorize song lyrics; it just happens. Even things from twenty years ago come back flawlessly and easily, and it feels pretty special.”
In turn, all those “records,” inspire more. “For me, listening to music is a big inspiration for writing. I do think my relationship with music has changed a little since I started writing music. Sometimes when I discover a band or album that I love, I become obsessed and I try to pay attention to every detail in every song,” Oseto says.
Listen to “Keeping a Record” now! dark / gold is available for pre-order through Father / Daughter Records.