Listen to Practice, the lovable debut EP from local indie trio Soupy
Earlier this summer, the emerging local trio Soupy released a sweet and lovable debut EP entitled Practice on Bee Side Cassettes. The sounds on the DIY release are small in the best way, as in the intimate work of indie darlings like Free Cake for Every Creature and Frankie Cosmos. A recent Facebook post declares the group “recently voted west philly’s cutest rock band by all the bugs in the yard AND bees on the roof.”
In the six songs on Practice, Soupy find plenty of interesting spaces to explore with pure and simple instrumentation — guitar and vocals by Tabitha Ahnert, drumming by Jay Sharma, and electric bass by Max Atkinson, plus some sweet Rhodes keyboard by Atkinson on the standout track “don’t tell me anything.” Soupy recorded these songs with engineer Heather Jones at So Big Auditory and achieved an intimate sound with little to no effects or polish, which gives the release a charming sense of realism. The one notable departure from this feel occurs at the end of the opening track “barn cat,” when several reverb-soaked vocal overdubs intermingle in one of the EP’s dreamiest moments.
Ahnert, Soupy’s lead songwriter, shows off their knack for pithy, personal lyricism throughout Practice in impressively few words. On “barn cat,” they consider their dreams of escaping from humanness and finding refuge in a bed of hay; a note attached to the lyrics on Bandcamp admits, “sometimes it is too hard to be a person.” They describe three of the EP’s songs as “about guilt”, including guilt for being “a bad plant parent” and guilt felt on a bus ride home after bailing on family plans. And on the sober closing track “restless”, Ahnert imagines Girlpool speaking to them through the radio as they drive off into the woods in “Rural Jersey.” The title Practice suggests that these songs recount a series of attempts at adulthood, or attempts at self-acceptance, the results of which matter less than the efforts themselves and the courage they require.
Soupy have not announced plans for any future releases or upcoming shows, but they have been regulars on the local indie circuit since 2017 — they have previously played dates at MilkBoy, West Philly’s Lava Space, and Vox Populi Gallery, including shows with Ellen Siberian Tiger, Corey Flood and AllegrA. Practice came out last month on Bee Side Cassettes.