Forgive My Blog

Soda Fountain Rag

Soda Fountain Rag is a band I’ve been listening to for a year or so. I like the rythm and the way the singer doesn’t necessarily pause between sentences; it speaks to my autistic brain.

I only really knew one album, “It’s Rag Time”, but loved it intensely.

This year at Autscape I was talking with my friend Joshua on our way to dinner about the new social experiment/personality exploration game I’d brought with me and how it asks good questions. And we joked about the worst questions people ask us such as “how are you?”. Someone who was walking with us started laughing, and said that their1 autistic friend had just that moment texted her2 saying “I’m tired of my mum and dad asking if I’m okay”. We all ended up sitting together to eat, and playing Jo Jo Jo (the game) and having some very interesting conversations. At some point I asked this new person about her3 name, because they4 had an unpronouncable name, “Ragnhild”, followed by “(Soda)”. She said it’s a nickname, from their band, Soda Fountain Rag.

After I’d had a moment to process, that the person I’d been enjoying the company of for the past quarter of an hour or so, is the lead singer in one of my favourite bands, I told her I was a huge fan and we both laughed; it was a happy meeting for both of us.

They were quite happy (“super fun” was their exact words) to answer my fangirl questions about their songs. So I took lots of notes for all the questions I wanted to ask and we did a half hour sort of interview (I recorded it, but just for myself and people we know and trust).

I’m often curious to know the stories behind lyrics of songs, and this is no less the case with Soda Fountain Rag. Perhaps even more so because I felt a connection with the singer, who I could tell was autistic just from her songs, and wanted to know really everything about her life. It was such a privilege to be able to satisfy that curiosity.

I learned that Ragnhild (Soda) is even more adorable in person than their songs reveal. And our friendship has gone beyond fandom now; it has become deeply personal to me. Yet I’m also an even bigger5 fan than I was before.

In that vein, there are some answers to questions I asked in the interview (or later in follow-up conversations) that I’d like to share with fellow fans.

Fan Page

How to find all albums

On Spotify it’s easy - just put “Soda Fountain Rag” in and you’ll find them all.
On Bandcamp (where digital versions, Vinyls and CDs can be bought) they are scattered. They are also in the incorrect order. There are 5 albums. Ragnhild says:

These are all the “official” albums. There has been some CDr releases on very tiny indie-labels but I think all those songs should be included on the “official” ones as well.

Let’s see, the order:

It’s Rag Time (2008)
Reel Around Me (2010)
Extra Life (2016)
The Lost Levels (2016 - but these are home-recordings sorted in order of when I recorded them, from 2006 to 2013 - you can hear the depression manifesting itself in the end, particularly the three last songs)
Keep My Headphones On (2017)

Personal Trivia: I have all albums on my phone in Ogg Vorbis format, so they don’t take much space. I play them with VLC android app through my Bose Quiet Comfort 35 (bluetooth, noise cancelling) headphones; great for long train journeys between where I live and the rest of the UK. I often put just one song on repeat.
On my home computer where storage isn’t at a premium, I have the same albums in FLAC format. Not that I can tell the difference, but I want to be able to say “I listen to the totally authentic, uncompressed Soda Fountain Rag where possible”.

‘Current’ Band Members

Ragnhild Iveranna Hogstad Jordahl
Alessandro Paderno
Fabio Benni
Moa Paulin

I ended up with the world’s most impractical band — Fab and Ale in Italy, and Moa in Sweden

Roles when playing live

role person
vocals and drums Ragnhild
guitar Alessandro
bass Fabio
keyboard Moa

Roles for albums

role person
Backing Vocals Alessandro, Fabio and Moa
mixing & producing Alessandro, Fabio

Ragnhild does all the instruments on It’s Rag Time and The Lost Levels albums. On the other albums she does drums, vocals, keyboard, guitar and percussion. Other people do guitar and bas on Reel Around Me.

meta comment

I guess this page is, all the things I think are most interesting about Soda Fountain Rag and that I want to share and that Ragnhild is okay with me telling EVERYONE.
maybe there could be an audio clip from the interview, of her saying her name and explaining the nack of how to pronounce it and then me failing to do so.

  1. this person likes both ‘she’ and ‘they’ pronouns, so I will be sprinkling them 

  2. same person I just called ‘their’ earlier in this sentence 

  3. still the same person 

  4. still talking about the same person, I’m going to trust you to cope with this on your own now 

  5. this is a lie, I’m exactly the same size as I was before