Track Of The Day: Julia-Sophie – ‘and you know it’

Gothic tones swirl in a bath of glimmering synths as haunting vocals sing in Julia-Sophie’s second shimmering single, ‘and you know it‘. Dark, heavyweight pads modulate downwards and spiral into delays that descend with a cathartic grace. As the track begins to rise, it spins elegantly and captivates listeners from the very start with the art of juxtaposition.

It is with avant-pop artist Julia-Sophie’s vocal delivery that we first fully catch a true breath of her deeply emotional, electronic track that lives within a similar realm as pop artist/creator FKA Twigs. With recoiling chorus tones, ‘and you know it’ features a reflexive mix that triggers sonic elements interpersonally, emulating the ricochet of an overwhelmed mind. 

Crisp, echoing percussion and melodic synths keep the deep track mobile, never overstaying their welcome with each purging section. As articulate as the instrumentation and effects are throughout, Julia-Sophie’s lyrics take no step back in the stakes of embodying a raw, emotive spectacle. Themes of grief, fear of abandonment and the heartbreak of being misunderstood define Julia-Sophie’s story in a genuine, stirring way.

</3, the upcoming new EP from Julia-Sophie, is set for release 22nd April.

Jill Goyeau
@jillybxxn

Track Of The Day: Julia-Sophie – ‘I Wish’

In an introspective sonic unravelling, electronic artist Julia-Sophie brings us an immersive experience in her lush new track, ‘I Wish’. Released on Slow Dance Records, the single follows Julia’s admired y? EP of last year. As the first track from her upcoming EP </3, it serves as an insightful glance for what’s to come from Julia’s anticipated palette.

A delicate, building tension scurries across the soundscape opening the story of ‘I Wish’. Made of rigid, whirling synth patterns, Julia-Sophie’s spatial awareness is artistically conveyed across the ways in which she places her sounds so precisely. Alongside her lyrics, she is able to tell her narrative by using her instrumental machines that glitch freely with each cathartic breath.

Emotive confessions float earnestly in the pool of bubbling synths, as ‘I Wish’ creates a universe of its own. It is one we all know and stew in. It is equally as challenging as it is empowering – solitude. Of the track, Julia-Sophie explains:

Over the last year, I’ve had to fight and break hearts, to become the person I was meant to be; to live my own truth. I wanted to reflect this broken hearted journey in ‘I Wish’, by breaking out of classic song structure and experimenting with form…”

Disentangling the narratives of others, to ultimately discover her own, Julia-Sophie illuminates her story with fluid-like tongues reminiscent of Half Waif and FKA Twigs. With her own feet on the ground, and a sound that is so fresh to the ear, Julia-Sophie’s ‘I Wish’ is sure to inspire us to keep going into 2021.

‘I Wish’ is out now, via Slow Dance. It is released as part of Slow Dance ’20; a compilation released by the label – a 16 track collection of tracks from all genres – out on 26th January.

Jill Goyeau
@jillybxxn

EP: Julia-Sophie – ‘Y?’

Describing herself as finally finding her hullabaloo within the storm, new electronic artist Julia-Sophie jumped onto the scene supporting GIHE faves Sink Ya Teeth. Last week she released her debut EP, Y?, and we cannot stop listening to it.

This record draws you in from the outset. Lead track ‘Breathe’ envelopes you with its sound as the pulsating title lyric repeats, leaving it reverberating around your head after only the second listen. At points, especially on ‘x0x’, I feel that I can hear the influences of Gazelle Twin, where I am sat watching this music performed in a darkened auditorium with a light show that electrifies the stage as the music electrifies your ears.

Of the record Julia-Sophie explains “I came to point in my life when I realised that I had been coasting through life and in these songs, rather than carrying on floating I chose to rip myself open and see what would come out the other side.”

Y? is a sublime four track record of emotionally intelligent electrifying electronica. Music which builds and layers, over and over, resulting in an almost painfully blissful experience. I’m completely addicted and have not enjoyed an EP this much in a long while – Julia-Sophie is clearly an artist who has a solid understanding of producing, removing boundaries and letting music speak for itself. I cannot, and do not want to stop listening. 

Listen to Julia-Sophie’s EP Y? here. Follow Julia-Sophie on Instagram for more updates.

FIVE FAVOURITES: Julia-Sophie

Describing herself as finally finding her “hullabaloo within the storm”, new electronic artist Julia-Sophie shared her mesmerising debut EP, Y?, last week, and we cannot stop listening to it.

Y? is a sublime four track record of emotionally intelligent, electrifying electronica. Music which builds and layers, over and over, resulting in an almost painfully blissful experience; much like listening to a Gazelle Twin record. Julia-Sophie is clearly an artist who has a solid understanding of producing sound, removing boundaries and letting music speak for itself.

We think one of the best ways to get to know an artist is by asking what music inspired them to write in the first place. We caught up with Julia-Sophie to ask about her “Five Favourites” – five albums that influenced her own writing techniques. Check out her choices below, and scroll down to watch the video for her single ‘x0x’ at the end of this post.

 

1. Thom Yorke – ANIMA
I’ve been listening to a lot of Thom Yorke this last year and feel very drawn into his latest album ANIMA. For me, it feels dark and tender and addresses emotional holes in my life. I’m attracted to his lyrics that have a dreamlike quality, like a stream of consciousness; like a beautiful nightmare. I love the way the album floats through unease as it slips and slides all over the place without ever becoming boring. It’s a left of centre electronic album with jabbing pulses, syncopated rhythms, spring loaded grooves and wheezy synths surging in waves; I love how effortless it all feels. I only dream of making music with that apparent ease. I love feeling like I can hear his whole creative process. The album makes me feel like I’m listening to art, like a sculptor mastering textures and layers; as I drift off the album catches me unawares. I love it and can’t recommend it enough.

2. James Blake – Assume Form
James has an infectious take on post-dubstep and downtempo, minimalistic electronica. His vocals are otherworldly, airy and his productions boundary-breaking. When the way that you relate to the world becomes difficult I look for artists who express emotions that I cannot; that I am searching for. I felt particularly connected to this album; it is melancholic yet hopeful. The record is full on emotion, and like all the best things in life, it doesn’t reveal itself immediately; it deserves time. As a producer, his sounds make me want to explore the record further and as I do, I capture themes that I didn’t quite grasp the first time round. When I feel dulled by emotion and trauma, James’ music makes me feel safe; his music makes me feel like I’m being held; arms wrapped around me delicately; all unencumbered by musical form. The guests on this album are incredible and are definitely worth revisiting, most notably Moses Sumney’s performance on ‘Tell Them’ blows me away. There’s definitely something particularly special about this album.

3. Art School Girlfriend – Into The Blue Hour
I’m not sure where or how I first came across Polly Mackey, aka Art School Girlfriend (knowing me, I was probably stalking Paul Epworth’s Wolftone Records as I’m a guilty Glass Animals and Harry Edwards fan). Art School Girlfriend self-produces music that for me shares the hypnotic euphoria of trance music. Her ability to create surreal, ethereal bodies of work laced with moodiness not only blows my mind and inspires me, but also gives me feelings of lustfulness and space; within this space I find myself free to think, feel, bend and reflect. I love that place she takes me to. Her music is all very dreamlike but packed with emotion and feels as menacing as it does beautiful. As someone who loves and is obsessed with electronic sounds, I love her use of electronica and only dream to be able to create hazy soundscapes like her, that are tied together with an innate pop understanding. Her music to me, feels quite sad and melancholic, but all tinged with beauty and mystery; it draws me in. Definitely music worth escaping to (plus she has a really cute dog, so what’s not to love about her and her music?)

4. TT (Theresa Wayman) – Lovelaws
I was never a huge Warpaint fan, not because I didn’t like them, but because I was late to the party. Warpaint’s music was so big that it seeped into my life all the same, always playing in the background at friend’s houses or in cafés, and so I’ve always had a wispy notion of their sound. When I heard Warpaint’s Theresa Wayman’s solo debut, I guess because I’ve become more into electronic music than guitar-led music, I was immediately drawn in. Her vocals felt intimate and her use of electronica excited me. This debut record feels really honest; where she explores themes of motherhood, isolation and romances. Her songs are dreamy and I feel she allows me to dream with her; the sound of skin on skin, she journeys fragile threads of human connections and makes me feel a certain sense of companionship and loneliness, all given in equal weight. The album never overpowers; it is warm and comforting: its songs mutate in ways that are unexpected and offer different kinds of rewards. She reminds me that we are all human, obsessing, disconnecting, passionate and jealous. I love her and this record for it.

5. Double Negative – Low
I first discovered this record at my local record store, Truck Music Store in Oxford, as they made it their album of the year. I remember Carl who works behind the counter waving it to me as I asked for recommendations. He was telling me about this album and I loved it from the get go. It’s an immensely creative, ambitious, warped slowcore album that takes you on an experimental journey from start to finish. It’s a radical record in many ways, creating all kinds of atmospheres; sometimes through drone and then also through using song as a conduit. It thumps, crackles and hums, is as oblique in its nature as it is haunting and on first listen sent shivers through me. I was hooked; I found myself lost in its noise, its darkness and heartbreak and yet the album somehow made me feel good even when I was falling apart.

Thanks to Julia-Sophie for sharing her favourites. Listen to her EP here.
Follow Julia-Sophie on Instagram for more updates.