The New Age is the current vehicle for Swedish singer-songwriter Sara Lunden (no relation to the Danish jumper-wearer), and Soft Touch is her contribution to the Enfant Terrible-curated soundtrack to Exploitation by Edwin Brienen.
We don’t know much about Edwin Brienen except that he was the auteur behind Terrorama!, Hysteria, The Last Performance and other strange-looking filmic entities of which only trailers seem to exist. According to Enfant Terrible, Brienen makes excessively violent movies that poke fun at “sensitive subjects of our post 9/11 era and post-postmodern period: religion, sex, and politics; from fundamentalist Islam to the prudish Christianism, through exuberant homosexuality, and the delusion of formatted heterosexuality.”
As a bunch of polite nice jumper-wearing (mostly) Brighton-dwelling liberals, XXJFG doesn’t usually go much in for PC-baiting shock tactics, so we’ll leave you clever lot to decipher for yourself the motivations of this cineverse. What we do know, though, is that this 2LP soundtrack is all kinds of awesome. Full of crunching industrial minimalism and sleek, sparse, synth poems.
Within the unrelenting thud and pulse of the soundtrack’s four sides, Soft Touch – the album’s (and presumably film’s) final track – is the only space of vulnerability. As such, in this context, it teeters almost into faux-naivety, while at the same time reading as desperately, unapologetically heartfelt. Much like how the Twin Peaks soundtracks beautifully navigate an almost-untenable thread connecting the hyper-exaggerated sentiment of incidental sitcom muzak and psyche-staining horror (mostly within the same few soft jazz cadences).
And they’re the greatest soundtracks of all time.
Soft Touch is brutally simple. There can’t be any more than four chords in the whole song. The lyrics are not complex. The melody sounds like it was made up on the spot. Trying to parse the simple yearning of the song with Brienen’s schlock-laden trailers has us hunting for cynicism and irony… but coming up delightfully empty. This is just one great love song. Its design is flawless.
We don’t spend every day wishing the world was more like a Lovecraft story, you know. Even Cthulhu needs hugs.