donderdag 8 november 2018

Sophia Electric. Sofie Winterson

A seductive, femme fatale looks at us. Half veiled with one eye staring at us. Intense and mysterious. Does this picture capture the music on offer? Yes, I think it does. On Sophia Electric Sofie Winterson does try to seduce her listeners with a mix of warmth and cold. She sings like a French sigh girl over cold and aloof sounding electronics. The result is an album very much worth listening to.

Just listen to how elementary the album starts. A keyboard riff that could have been the basis of a soul and pop-rock record that would have been pumped up enormously with all sorts of instruments around it. Here it is what it is. The singing kept remembering me of another singer, that kept eluding me, until someone recently told me to listen to Sade's version of 'Why Can't We Live Together' (that I had all but forgotten since probably 1990) and then I knew: Sade. Ms. Winterson's music has its own features to be sure. This album is all electronics, with a few notable exceptions. At the same time 'Time' holds a soft layer of playfulness. Something I do not associate Sade with. The paradox Sophia Electric presents to its listeners.

Promo photo: Paul Belaart
Sophia Electric is mildly danceable. It reminds me of 'Molecules', Sophie Hunger's latest album, released this summer. Both feature 80s synths and releaxed beats, with enough to enjoy left for the late 10s. The enjoyment starts with the singing melodies that carry the songs, cradle them even. Warm and mildly seducing the listener, without laying it on too thick. There remains a distance between the listener and Sofie Winterson. Singing these lyrics is a serious business, something the colder electronic music underscores.

In that sense 'Sweet Heart' is a surprise. In this song Winterson truly addresses her audience. It is the most emotional song on the album by far. A reverb drenched guitar plays an elementary melody, around it some electronic soundscapes and sounds. Together a short, but beautiful, song is created.

Throughout each song there are little gems to be found. Just listen carefully and find that golden lined melody or vocal. Again that warm - cold part that walks straight through this album. The differences between the two sides of Sofie Winterson that keep presenting itself. The result is an album that is a surprise. Now I know that her live show totally does right to this album and the other way around. The album comes totally alive in a live trio setting. Yes, I'm enjoying Sophia Electric alright.


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