After several runs through Soft Days it started to become more apparent how deeply set the hazy malaise of the record is set. The album speaks about the everyday whilst never looking to romanticize or dramatize it. Instead Sea Pinks let reality speak for itself through lyrics like “remember when we used to play it cool. I was 27, you were 22”.
Indeed, the entire album teems with the unavoidable pitfalls and long-held aspirations of life. Songs like ‘Yr Horoscope’, ‘Depth of Field’ and ‘I Won’t Let Go’ all do this, but with very different moods.
Soft Days is by know means a dramatic reinterpretation of the post-punk/pop genre, that’s not the point. It’s what Sea Pinks do with the sound that counts. It molds the album, and gives us an entry point to what is being laid-bare. It’s a story we know, because it’s one we’ve all live in one way or another.
From the first droning waves that birth opener “(I Don’t Feel Like) Giving In”, ardent ode to unfeeling “Cold Reading”, the album’s closing title track and lead single “Depth of Field” – a real highlight here – come to demarcate a craft very tidily balanced between minimalist, tactfully linear guitar-pop and the discreet traversing of sounds drawing from a vast and plentiful well of dream and power-pop. No longer exponents tied to the ever-elusive surf marque, Sea Pinks wear their broad inheritance of influence as a badge of distinction.
As with other dichotomies here, hope and yearning are often all but tantamount to each other on Soft Days. Where “Ordinary Daze” celebrates the latent and tenderly inclined glory of the everyday, “Everything In Sight” – evoking candour and clean jangle of self-titled era Smiths – fares simultaneously defiant and pragmatic. Hopping from playful to grave and discreet to emphatic, Brogan takes ambivalence and uses it as a catalyst for the slew of burrowing refrains and sudden bursts of tight élan that comes to define Soft Days as a whole.