Over the last few years, Central Coast R&B artist BOY SODA has been building towards something bigger. A 2019 trip to America to open for Dominic Fike at the Converse x Camp Flog Gnaw event in Los Angeles proved to be the moment that would give him the drive to shoot for the stars, and since then, he's been inescapable in the Australian R&B world, with 2020 singles Daisy Chain, SEE SOMEONE and TAKE YOUR TIME giving fans a glimpse at BOY SODA's potential.
The release of his debut EP, THE DISTANCE BETWEEN THINKING AND FEELING, is the culmination of years of hard work for BOY SODA, but it's also just the beginning. Across six songs, including a trio of previously-unheard tracks (BIG, LOVEU2BITS and WELCOME TO THE GLOW UP were all singles), BOY SODA mixes together introspective, thoughtful lyricism with honeyed vocals that'll have you swaying, wherever you may be.
Speaking about the project, BOY SODA explains, "THE DISTANCE BETWEEN THINKING AND FEELING is the first full look I’m giving people in my mind and my world. I think it’s very reflective of my relationship with self-love and self-awareness and how those effects everything else I do and say - a project of six conversations with myself about love and healing and celebration.” You'll walk away feeling like you know more about BOY SODA after listening to this, but you might also learn a thing or two about yourself.
THE DISTANCE BETWEEN THINKING AND FEELING features production from Hamley, Hugh Lake, Korky Buchek, Nerve, lovemedo, Club Angel and more, with each putting a slightly different spin on the R&B spaces that BOY SODA works in when making music. The horns that feature on the penultimate track LONELY act as punctuation for BOY SODA's frank discussion of the effects of loneliness, while opening track TWENTYOH5 acts as a reminder for the perfect setting for the project - a late-night car ride (BOY SODA's run-in with a red light camera features as the cover for the EP).
The concept of a car ride acts as a metaphor for the journey that BOY SODA's on throughout the EP, and indeed, it's a reminder of the journey that we're all on. Car trips often lead to personal, revealing conversations with friends and loved ones (if you've never sat in the back of an Uber after a night out and had a big chat with a friend, then it's well worth a try), and when you're driving around at night listening to the final notes of BIG fade into the night sky, the realisations will follow (or, at the very least, you'll have shown those that are still out and about on the streets some great new music).
Throughout the project, BOY SODA talks about the process of healing, and why it's integral to moving forward. WELCOME TO THE GLOW UP sounds as fresh as it did when we first heard it, but it makes even more sense as part of the tracklist for this EP. Across the six tracks, BOY SODA is on a journey to grow, both musically and personally. Of course, there are bumps along the way - while RIDE features a love interest, LONELY captures "the falling moment" of the EP, with BOY SODA asking "if there's a cheat code for my happiness please show me" - but ultimately, it's a celebration of the concept of loving yourself.
Whether it's through reverberating 808s, soulful melodies or lyrics that are as incisive as they are emotional, BOY SODA is vulnerable on THE DISTANCE BETWEEN THINKING AND FEELING in ways that only come once you've learnt to properly love yourself. There's no insincerity present within any of the moments on this EP, and why would there be? Every choice on THE DISTANCE BETWEEN THINKING AND FEELING has been made to welcome listeners in, not keep them at arm's length. BOY SODA's not one to try and switch up to succeed, because as he outlines on the EP, that's not his MO. Instead, he's spent recent times evolving, and this EP is a marker of what he's achieved to date, as well as what's to come.
Providing a summary of the project, BOY SODA reveals, “From track one (TWENTYOH5) to the closing song (BIG), I wanted to create this arch that started around an experience of pure emotions and concluded on a reflection of thought. I still drive the car my grandparents gave to me, I grew up in it, and it’s very fitting that it’s on the front cover because it’s a timestamp of how I think and feel right now.
"I hope this project curates long, late-night drives and important conversations with yourself and the people around you. I hope it plays as the sun hits your face for the first time in the morning and again at 3am when your thoughts are loud.”
Let BOY SODA guide you on a journey through his thoughts, and let your mind wander while you're listening to THE DISTANCE BETWEEN THINKING AND FEELING - after all, sometimes thoughts and emotions converge in more ways than you'd expect.