Song Review: Soft Science – “Grip”

“Grip” by Soft Science is a luminous offering from the California-based dream pop band, featured as the fourth single off their album “Lines.” The track is a splendid blend of ’60s pop sensibilities and ’90s shoegaze textures, creating a soundscape that is both nostalgic and refreshingly modern.

The song opens with an ethereal quality, its lyrics floating over a mesmerizing blend of guitars and synths. “Take it all / Another way / I know that you don’t mean what you say,” sings lead vocalist Katie Haley, her voice a delicate yet commanding presence amidst the swirling instrumentation. The chorus, “Make it through by force of will,” resonates as a mantra, echoing the band’s perseverance through the challenges they faced while creating the album during the pandemic.

The DIY nature of the song’s creation process, with band members Becky and Tony Cale directing the music video using iPhones, adds an intimate and authentic layer to “Grip.” The visuals, edited and enhanced by videographer Matt Maxwell, reflect the song’s live energy and the band’s re-emergence into live performances post-pandemic. This aspect gives the track a raw, unfiltered edge that complements its polished production.

Lyrically, “Grip” navigates themes of persistence and resilience in the face of uncertainty. “Losing grip / We’ll make it right / There’s a reason here just out of sight,” suggests a struggle to hold onto hope amidst chaos, a sentiment that many can relate to in recent times. The imagery of being “Rescued by the morning light” and warming “each other from this chill” paints a vivid picture of finding solace and strength in companionship and shared experiences.

Musically, Soft Science showcases their ability to fuse influences from various eras into a cohesive sound. Echoes of the Zombies and Beach Boys merge with the sonic depth of Lush and Ride, while also nodding to contemporary artists like Beach House. The result is a track that feels timeless yet grounded in the present, a quality that defines Soft Science’s approach to music.

In essence, “Grip” stands as a testament to Soft Science’s artistic vision and their ability to craft songs that resonate emotionally while pushing sonic boundaries. With its captivating melody, poignant lyrics, and lush production, the track is not just a highlight from “Lines” but also a compelling entry in the broader shoegaze and dream pop canon.

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