by Dan Goldin (@post_trash_)
Rochester's Katie Preston is best known for her time spent as vocalist/guitarist of Pleistocene, but with Soap Opera, she's stepped out on her own to create a stunning indie folk record, that's as majestic as it is reserved. Capturing a similar AM gold fuzz to artists like Alvvays, Angel Olsen, and Sidney Gish, Preston's charm radiates through her lyrics, wondrous and full of tip toed adventures. Blending occasional surrealism with introspective songwriting, Preston's music is easily digestible and increasing infectious, with melodies and words that linger after the record's end.
Soap Opera is a varied affair, highlighting the many nuances that make Preston's songwriting so immediate. Lead single "The Art of Falling Apart" is dreamy and swooning, lush harmonies and swaying pop keeping the melody in place over the bass and synth leads as Preston's vocals shine in the twinkling atmosphere she's created. "Stay The Same" carries an Angel Olsen-like twang over a rapid upbeat rhythm and a few lines of reverberating surf guitar, but the song's core is all folk, gentle and freeing, it's a song that warbles its way into layered hooks and the all important refrain, "I don't ever wanna stay the same." Preston switches to the retro-noire pop of "Pangs of Conscience" and the bedroom pop glow of "Hard To Be Anyone" a song that grooves on lo-fi synth effects and a programmed beat, a single layer of fuzz and a clean guitar line radiating in the open spaces. Preston's vocals are weary yet captivating, offering a simple reminder, "I'm not trying to say it's hard to be me ... babies crying in the sun, it's hard to be anyone" over bursts of colorful fireworks that illuminate and fade.