SOPHIE JAMIESON took a time-out from her career after a great beginning; and five years away from ‘the biz’ has left her stronger, more aware, ready to slam some finely honed truths into your chest with her EP Release, which is out on December 1st.
Debuting aged 22 with her Where EP, which featured fragile and potent despatches such as “Dinah”, she opened a wormhole of self-doubt after sessions to piece together her next recordings collapsed; she fell ill, retreated. She came back this February with the Hammer EP; a tour with Charlie Cunningham followed, but a subsequent string of European dates alongside the lovely Samantha Crain fell victim to the ‘rona.
Now she’s dropped the autumnal 6/8 swoon of “Forward” in advance of her next release. Her voice, clear, trilling like a songbird, pulls traditional British folk textures out to a place where the edge of self-expression breathes new vitality into it. If you ever fell for Leaf Records’ Nancy Elizabeth, you’ll find an awful lot to luxuriate in with Sophie.
“Release”, Sophie confides, “ … was written during one of the loneliest periods of my life.
“Becoming disconnected from those close to me, I searched for connection blindly, drinking past blackout and getting myself into trouble. The next day I would find a way to punish myself. It was a vicious circle”.
You can hear that mesmerising circularity in the elegant swingtime of “Forward”. The piano gives way to a more backgrounded keyboard wash with plenty of melodic shade. It marks progress like a metronome as Sophie soars high above.
“[It’s] about trying to find some control amid chaos. My instinct for years had been to deny that a period of time had happened, to empty myself of its trace – but at this point I began to understand that I could accept it, that it is part of who I am and that I do not have to destroy the evidence of my past in order to move forward,” she concludes.
Elsewhere on the EP, she brings us tunesmithery examining time spent in a blissful bubble of self-destruction and the absurd relief she felt in flight as a car knocked her off her bike. It won’t be easy in there, but it will be beautiful.