Soft Science: Lines  CD / LP   (Shelflife Records)

Soft Science - Lines CD/LP

Bio: Northern California-based quintet Soft Science is "deeply invested [and] honest in their approach to find something new" (The Chicagoist) while maintaining their pop sensibilities. Once described as having "the potential to become one of the great Left Coast power pop bands" (Popmatters), the band's sonic evolution has led to an exploration of the noisier side of dream pop with glimmers of dark wave on their fourth LP, Lines (Shelflife Records - US | Spinout Nuggets - UK | Fastcut Records - Japan).

Soft Science began working on their recently completed album Lines in 2019, forging the record in their home studios together and at times in isolation from each other during the height of the pandemic, swapping tracks and making adjustments from a distance for what felt like an eternity. Reuniting in person to finalize the mix created a palpable excitement, an energy that can be felt throughout the record. Lines addresses living and loving within the complexities and challenges of everyday life in our fast-paced digital world.

Formed in 2009 by longtime collaborators Katie Haley (Holiday Flyer, California Oranges) and brothers Ross and Matt Levine (Welt, The Tank, California Oranges), the group was later joined by partners Tony and Becky Cale (English Singles, Arts & Leisure), and Hans Munz. With alluring vocals, two 12-string guitars, bass, drums, and synthesizers, the ensemble layers copious melodies, celestial harmonies, and propulsive rhythms with lush electronic soundscapes to create "a sound built to outlast trends" (Chicago Tribune). "It's not often you hear dream pop that's so devastatingly dynamic and driving" (The Big Takeover).

Previous Soft Science recordings include LPs Maps (2018), Detour (2013), and Highs and Lows (2011), a few singles, including a split 7" with The Luxembourg Signal (2015), and covers of House of Love's "I Don't Know Why I Love You" and Northern Picture Library's "Paris" (both 2018). Critical acclaim for their recordings led to invitations to perform at the New York Popfest, Paris Popfest, The Big Takeover's 35th Anniversary show, a WFMU show opening for The Chills, KEXP live (2019) and Part-Time Punks sessions, plus additional festivals in the U.S. and Iberian Peninsula.

Soft Science are:

Katie Haley (she/her)- vocals
Ross Levine (he/him)- guitar, synths, backing vocals
Matt Levine (he/him) - guitar
Tony Cale (he/him) - drums, percussion
Becky Cale (she/her) - bass, backing vocals
Hans Munz (he/him) - electronics

And some quotes for any PR needs…

Frontwoman Katie Haley on the impetus for the song ‘Zeros': "Lyrically it was inspired by watching a couple of documentaries on technology such as The Social Dilemma. I used ‘zeros and ones' as the key line in the chorus as it's the foundational language of computers - commonly referred to as binary code. Zeros and ones kept floating around in my head, so in the verses I tapped into the commentary regarding the vast technology at our fingertips and how it's changed the world and how human connection is also being altered; everything is easier to access - but deeper connection feels like it's becoming harder to obtain."

About the tune ‘Sadness', guitarist/keyboardist Ross Levine added, "When writing the lyrics to ‘Sadness', I was thinking of it as a kind of pep talk - everyone struggles and it can be easy to fall into a negative loop, something I'm really good at. When one is feeling down, that emotion can cloud everything; it's about coming to that realization and trying to refocus on the positive: sometimes the glass is actually half full. However, it's not meant to be judgmental. It's just a reflection on the concept that sadness exists - it's part of the human experience - but also to not beat yourself up for having those feelings and to remind yourself if you look for it, happiness can also be found."

When asked about which part of the Lines adventure remained most memorable, fellow guitarist Matt Levine chose to focus on the positives that materialized during the album's development: "Making a record takes a lot of effort and it's easy to get lost in the process. When it was finally completed, it was hard to see the forest for the trees. We were expecting to again self-release on our own label, Test Pattern Records, but were over the moon when Shelflife, Spinout Nuggets, and Fastcut agreed to partner together to allow us our first truly worldwide release. I'm excited to get these songs out into the world and for the band to play as many shows as we can pull off in support of the album."