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Soft Is For Lovers

Words & photos by Amiyah Golden

As sound continues to evolve around us, it continues to create a space for experimentation, radical storytelling, and liberated creativity that allow artists to elevate to new heights. It bridges gaps and continues to clear the way for the release of epic sonic waves that are shared, serving as an experience to unify souls.

While music has always been a space of profound freedom, when it comes to individual and collective expression, it doesn’t escape the confines of what artistry is often assumed to be— a stark box that often inhabits the pressures of assimilation and juxtaposition. As representation in the world of music begins to come around, it doesn’t minimize the relevance of highlighting Queer voices – especially in the Jacksonville community – and local music duo SOFT, does just that!

Composed of queer lovers Ary (she/they) and Simmy (she/they) the two have joined harmonies to create “bedroom dream pop,” a style of music often pulling notes from an indie sound with electronic instrumentation. Often feathered into the “lofi” realm, the emerging genre of ‘dream pop’ is quite infinite with so many artists possessing an individual sound, whilst still being rooted in the contemporary melodies that make up this sub-genre.

“We strive to create sound and energy that embodies love, tenderness, and whimsy.” resounded the couple.

And they have fulfilled their intentions with their first single, “Outside.” This song now serving as my personal anthem to further encourage my main-character-syndrome. Perfectly embodying the right amount of glee while still campaigning that “I’m that girl!”

As the pair continue to perform around the city, they proceed to break numerous molds. While charting the territories of performing in a novel genre as Black and Queer individuals, they continue to open the stage to the encouragement of alternative melodic exploration in the Black space.

“[Our] mission is to bring Black Queer voices to the Bedroom Pop Genre.”

While many Black artists often are perceived as monolithic; the idea that they all exist inside this rigid archetype, often trying to squeeze Black artistry into that stark white box we talked about in the beginning, it continues to be disproven as we unearth the immense diversity of talent within our city.

Our perception often limits the boundless echoes that stir amongst these artists. 

Not only do the two continue to revise the soundscape of Jacksonville but they also illuminate what love looks like – fluid and unapologetic – evident in their gazes upon each other and their unwavering support for their collaborative craft.

I honor the ability to witness the Jacksonville art scene continue to expand as people begin to embrace their individuality, their identity, and their purpose. Reshaping the framework of what’s to be presumed.

So, for all my musical explorers out there, I’m expecting you to give this rising duo a listen; and with the anticipation of new music dropping for the new year, I urge you to follow SOFT on their various platforms below, so you don’t miss out!

I don’t know about you but it’s definitely feeling like a “dream pop”/house-music type of summer…

Instagram:

@musicbysoft

Apple Music:

SOFT

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