Hailing from Basel Switzerland, Slow Soak try to bring a deep and honest rawness to their music with their EP, Freedom From Happiness. With a title that evokes quite a dark outlook on life, it certainly delivers that in droves.
Song To Men immediately sets the tone with its steady build-up towards this grim finale that utilises a slow tempo and increasingly distorted guitar. When the end does come, there’s no crescendo, just a fade-out that hits with a powerful sombre feeling.
The second track, Moon, provides an even more bleak outlook. A description of death and coming to terms with it is quite a deep topic, although the catchy guitar twangs throughout are surprisingly comforting. It’s a tear jerker for sure especially for people who have experienced death first hand. It makes Moon an amazingly strong track, utilising honest lyrics and beautiful composition.
Despair is much less of a standout, kind of just sitting in the middle of the EP as the middle marker, not really hitting the powerful strides of the songs either side of it. Out of every song on, it’s the one that feels the most like a space filler. Despite that it’s serviceable and still shows Slow Soak’s strong musicianship.
One More Time is the love song of the EP and probably gives the most hopeful outlook of every track, though Slow Soak makes a clever thematic decision to keep it brief and sweet. Again using the gentle and familiar by this point, lullaby-like guitars and gentle drums.
This transitions nicely into the final track, Lullaby. Amazingly it’s the gentlest track on an EP full of gentle tracks. After the grim ride that the rest of the EP takes the listener on, it makes for a nice finale that ends things not with a bang, but with a whisper. Though still in keeping with the impactful slow tempo that hangs in the air, it is one of the most powerful and emotional songs, not just on the EP but of the year. It’s easily a song that will send shivers up the spines of many and have a lot of people who are invested in listening to Freedom From Happiness in tears. Lullaby is far and away the strongest song here and makes for a fitting end.