The SoapGirls – In My Skin

  • Gary Hough posted
  • Reviews

The SoapGirls

In My Skin - Self Released

If you aren’t already familiar with The SoapGirls then fasten your seat belts because they have just released their fourth, yes fourth, album ‘In My Skin’ and this is their heaviest release yet. Here we have a sorely underrated band that comprises two French-born, raised in South Africa sisters, Noemie (Mie) and Camille (Mille) Debray.  Their music is often overlooked due to their live visual and onstage performances which for those unfamiliar with their no-nonsense energy and attitude might find it a little intimidating, but fear not, these women are all inclusive and have hearts of pure gold.

Here we have two very talented musicians and boy do they know how to write catchy songs whether it’s pop, punk, rock or as you’ll hear on this album death metal. In My Skin, has all The Soapgirls hallmarks that are comprised of well written lyrics and pop punk tunes that just hook you. This album raises the bar from their often grungy style that most fans will be familiar with and that will come as no surprise to their fan base who have watched these songs take shape throughout lockdown as The Soapgirls turned demos into studio tracks as previewed on their numerous live stream shows that at their peak were four times a week during the pandemic, an insane schedule given the telecommunication issues they had to endure in South Africa not to mention the other disruptions.

Millie and Mie have not sat back and let a global pandemic get in the way of their creativity and audience reach, now that is true DIY. This album comprises 14 songs that address a variety of subjects that matter to Millie and Mie. This is as much about compassion and love for each other as much as confronting the issues of intolerance and judgement of those who dare to be different. ‘In My Skin‘ kicks off with what I believe is their best track to date ‘Breathe’, also a recent single and a song which encourages you to look beyond the negatives and focus on the positives in the challenges we all face daily. This is pretty vacant Soapgirls style and it has everything you need in a song so full of energy and attitude.

Liar’ is classic Soapgirls guitar driven track whose lyrics suggest an angst riddled guilt that needs to be addressed as seen in its lyrics, “I gotta let go you gotta let go, I need to be alone I’m on my own now, Ya need to get away I got to get out I need to get away”.Demons’ is up next a song that appears to focus on addressing ones demons as its subject wrestles with the conflict of daily life. ‘Wasted,‘ is a delightful track that really shows off the girls vocal range with a husky tone that compliments the switch in tempo. “Oh my god I can’t believe I’m drowning in the deepest sea, Here we go it’s you and me taste the whisky on your teeth” sing this dynamic duo as they address the issues of relationship breakups.

The title track is just a delight, this is a rock song as good as it gets with a guitar hook that The Cure’s Robert Smith would love and as it addresses the issue of standing up to those who expect you to conform. I’m sure he’d support sticking two fingers up to those judgemental types too. ‘Breakdown’, ironically the title of my favourite Buzzcocks track, appears to deal with the awful situation many face when going through depression, “Having a breakdown lost in my mind can’t find the time, Having a breakdown piece by piece breaking at the seams”.

Medicated Bubble Bath‘ is a full on attack of those political and corporate vultures who seek to control you through the use of their harmful products. Is this a stab at the politicians who have urged the masses to get vaccinated throughout the COVID-19 pandemic or simply a wider pop at how businesses and politicians control us? ‘Heart In Bloom‘ is a delightful song that captures that connection with those loved ones when you are afar and unable to se them. ’She Don’t Wanna’ is a song that should break into radio playlists with ease. The song tells the story of moving on from a relationship breakdown. This is just a perfect pop song and the Soapgirls doing what they do best.

Broken Melody’ is another song that confronts relationship issues and one that sees ‘Millie’ break out her best Dani Filth vocal as she delivers the lyrics “Ripping my heart to be found, You got your head in the clouds, It’s there it’s so hard to wake, Now that your loves so misplaced, I wish that I felt the same”. This is yet another terrific, stand out track on this album. ‘Summer Rain,‘ takes us back to the influence that is Nirvana with a stripped back slower song before we go back into those harder edged songs like ‘Psycho’, which on the other hand enters the territory of cohersive behaviour and being controlled through psychological intimidation and bullying. These are strong subjects that Mie and Millie are tackling and they do so to a driving drum and bass beat that encourages anyone affected by these issues to stand up and fight back.

Promise You’ continues along a similar vein with a guitar and bass hook that rhythmically is good. ‘Kill Breed‘ is a cracking finale to a belter of an album. This track like no other confronts killing by governments of innocents and the de-sensitivity that it brings “Hate breed kill ,no free will, fuck,rape ,feel ,nothings real You don’t feel”. These lyrics are delivered like Millie is possessed, it’s an amazing vocal that hits home deep and hard and complimented by the aggression in the drum patterns, guitar and bass lines that accompany it.

In My Skin is a fine album that deserves its success, the band have clearly worked very hard in the studio to bring us a Soapgirls album that will keep the soapsuds (the bands hardcore fanbase) fans delighted yet it leaves more for the unconvinced to give them a try and who knows, this album may just be the one that changes some very blinkered mindsets where this band is concerned. I love it, Soapsuds love it and one things for sure if you give it a chance, you may love it too.

In My Skin is now available via streaming platforms & Bandcamp

Live photography courtesy of Shot From Both Sides