A very depressing record....but depressing is good especially when the depressing sounds are made by Robin Proper-Sheppard as Sophia. Here, the former the God Machine singer made his slow burning epic. Each track slowly unfurls as the misery of existence is laid bare. Gorgeous post rock twinklings to confessional emotional rock songs. This has everything.
Vinyl LP £19.99 FLOWLP033
Reissue LP on The Flower Shop Recordings.
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- The Infinite Circle by Sophia
I'm weeping. WEEPING I tell you. There's three Sophia re-issues out this week and all are worth owning but the Infinite Circle is the one that tore my heart in two in 1998. I'm struggling to remember which of my many break ups I was trying to get over back then but the Infinite Circle was the near perfect soundtrack to my misery. Just check out opener Directionless with it's repeated refrain 'I'm losing my direction' repeated infinitely as the song fades. And that moment when the piano and strings come in. Miserable bliss.
It has to be said that it's very Red House Painters this record but where Mark Kozelek tended to mumble inward into his sadness Robin Proper-Sheppard projects out into an imagined mass of listeners. It's quite surprising how yearning tracks like If Only are. Almost...almost lighter-in-the-air sadness but crucially not quite. The opening three tracks are so unbelievably sad then Every Day is an absolute necessity from keeping the album from being one long sad fest. It has lovely upbeat chords (weirdly reminscent of some Oasis song or other ...Wonderwall?) but it comes to the chorus bleat of "do you really think that I never loved you" and Proper-Sheppard lets all his emotions show. It's both a call from the depths of despair and strangely uplifting.
Like a lot of Sophia's music this is an example 'big music it's ok to like'. Some of it has many of the ingredients I don't normally get on with but in RPS (I'm sick of typing out his name) hands it just works. It's bold and majestic and an emotional powerhouse. If you missed out first time round then get on board.
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