‘Oil Of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides’ is the most realised release yet from Scottish electronic artist Sophie. Those of us slightly wary of what initially seemed like an irony heavy take on pop have had such concerns demolished. What we have here is maximalist, experimental pop full of garbled hooks and great metallic thwacks. The LP is pressed on red vinyl and released via the label Transgressive.
Vinyl LP £21.99 TRANS368X
Red coloured vinyl LP on Transgressive.
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- Coloured vinyl
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I love SOPHIE’s 2015 compilation PRODUCT. Like, a lot. ‘Bipp’ and ‘Just Like We Never Said Goodbye’ and ‘Hard’ have become so deeply embedded in me that I have not been the same since. But as good as it was, it was transparently a compilation. And though there’s nothing wrong with that, it did beg the question. What would a proper SOPHIE album sound like?
Released in summer 2018, OIL OF EVERY PEARL’S UN-INSIDES answered the question with an emphatic “VERY, VERY GOOD”. Where PRODUCT was constrained by its form, EVERY PEARL is an expression as free across its forty minutes as her tracks have been on their own.
As always the sound design is utterly brilliant. Computer generated metallic clangs, the most sugary synth stabs and toe-curling screeches. And as always, the bangers well and truly bang. But this time the album’s sequencing is also brilliant. The run of tracks from ‘Is It Cold In the Water’ through the end is a masterful ebb and flow of soundscapes made from discarded club sounds before out of it emerges the triumphant ‘Immaterial’. There is a variety of music here that is truly uncommon, but all united under the SOPHIE’s clubby-pop umbrella.
So here is the year’s only album that might contain the year’s best pop song (‘Immaterial’), the year’s best club track (‘Ponyboy’), the year’s best drone (‘Pretending’) AND the year’s best metal track (‘Whole New World’). Even among her peers in the PC Music clique SOPHIE has stood out, but EVERY PEARL shows she has long transcended them, and almost everyone else.
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