Reviewed by Ian Phillips.
By Julia-Sophie, Bandcamp 2020.
This four-tack EP is another outcome of trawling through Bandcamp in search of something new.
Julia-Sophie hails from Oxford England and she is a singer/songwriter who utilizes the unlimited possibilities of electronica in a more accessible way than many of her contemporaries.
Y? is the first exposure that I’ve had to her work and she immediately hooked me in.
The blend of industrial electronic soundscapes with her plaintiff vocals is extremely enticing and when mixed with her emotional and often self-revelatory lyrics she creates an alluring package.
In the track I Left You Julia-Sophie reinforces the isolation expressed in the lyrics with a very sparse backing of distorted synth drums with occasional arpeggiated keyboard motifs.
The track builds and opens up a little toward the conclusion before closing with the repeated refrain, I Left You.
The overall feeling from the EP is one of deep brooding over relationships that are forever fracturing along existing fault-lines.
There’s a strong element of wringing the most out of every heartache, but done in a poetical way that somehow is also seductive.
Although the music is nothing like Leonard Cohen’s the emotion and use of language is quite similar.
My favourite track is Breathe which is the opening cut.
Built over a sparse rhythmic pattern the song moves from a mesmerising, descending, subdued melody to a crystal, almost ethereal, chorus.
It works brilliantly.
These four tracks have left me wanting more which says a great deal about their quality.
If you’re into electronica (or even if you’re not) Julia-Sophie is one to watch out for.