For the first time in two years, British artist SOPHIE
has released a new song and a new video to go along with it. If you're unfamiliar, SOPHIE's 2015 album Product
was unlike anything being manufactured at the time. And it was manufactured as much as it was composed: SOPHIE gave an interview with Billboard
before the album release, discussing her tendency to see objects rather than colors when when making music:
"A lot more so I think about physics and materials. 'LEMONADE' is made out of bubbling, fizzing, popping and 'HARD' is made from metal and latex -- they are sort of sculptures in this way… For instance -- why does a bubble have an ascending pitch when popped and why does metal clang when struck and what is this clanging sound in terms of pitch and timbre over time? How do I synthesize this?"
The resulting album featured songs that had a corresponding object made from the materials conjured during the making of the song. The brilliant idea for a concept album, preceded by a high-profile collaboration with Diplo on a Madonna track, was followed by a long period of relative quiet.
Now SOPHIE appears to be re-emerging, with a more traditional approach to pop music. "It's Okay to Cry", with its pop beat, fluorescent feel, and high but perfectly pitched vocals, sounds a lot like MIKA, the pop musician who has also disappeared from the radar recently. It's a shame, because I love unironic, hopeful, emotional music like "It's Okay to Cry," especially when there's a great dance drop in the last 30 seconds.
SOPHIE has been a remarkably camera-shy producer for years, so it's also surprising to see her taking center stage for this video. It's possible that SOPHIE is stepping away from experimental electronic music and more into the role of a traditional pop performer. She plans to play a show at OPEN BETA in Los Angeles next Tuesday, which will hopefully be followed by more new music.