Five Right Now: Julia-Sophie

There’s a storm brewing around Julia-Sophie. Fuelled by haunting vocals, synth fusions, and basslines tinged in reminiscence, the magnetism of electro-pop that her music lurks within is one that seems to only be growing in current with each track. 

Yet with the release of and you know it, Julia has diversified the sound to which her audience had become accustomed on y? and xOx, offering a track that will be sure to appease both fans of electro and pop. We caught up with the artist to see what songs she’s recently had stuck on repeat. These are her Five Right Now picks:

Sofia Kourtesis – La Perla 

I’m not sure how I discovered Sofia Kourtesis, but I started listening to her at the start of 2020 and her music kept me company all through the first lockdown. I’m so excited about her forthcoming, new EP and totally fell in love with her first single La Perla. It’s a cosy deep house tune with overlapping layers of synths, samples, percussion and an interesting use of voice. Singing a new element for Sofia, but her Spanish singing, layered into the texture of the track, often whispered, gives her work a new dimension. As a song for the sea and her dying father – it’s simply beautiful. I love listening to it when I’m on the move. It makes me long so much for open air festivals and dancing as a collective in the evening starlit sky, or better still, the rays of the morning dawn.

Ela Minus – They Told Us It Was Hard, But They Were Wrong

I love her conviction – every beat, every move, synth, lyric, you name it, she REALLY means it. Her music has a real sensitivity and femininity to it, and for whatever reason, the sounds she uses, the four-on-the-floor beats, clattering percussion, distant breaths, buzzing synthesisers, all resonate with me. She spent most of her life growing up in a DIY punk band, and then went to Berklee to learn how to drum; she’s clearly super talented and very cool – someone who I admire greatly. I can wholeheartedly recommend you listen to her debut album Acts of Rebellion. It’s an amazing piece of work. 

Kelly-Lee-Owens – Corner Of My Sky ft John Cale 

I was driving when I first heard this track being played on BBC 6Music, and wasn’t sure what to think as I wasn’t expecting to hear John Cale’s fragile, weathered voice reciting poetic textured words on a Kelly-Lee Owens’ dream-pop techno track. It took me by surprise and I slowly fell in love with it – at first, it took me out of my comfort zone and I had to open myself up to fully understand it. Although I have never spent much time in Wales, I can’t help but feel something of it’s landscape, both Kelly and Cale’s homeland, run through me when I listen to it. Through this collaboration and thanks to Cale’s almost mantra-like words and Kelly’s programmed sounds, they both conjure up some beautiful imagery. This track takes me to another world, and that world I guess must be Wales. 

Christine & The Queens – People, I’ve Been Sad 

I think I listened to Chaleur Humaine over and over when it was first released in 2016. I instantly fell in love with everything about Chris/Christine, the way they danced, sang, the sounds on the record, the groove – everything. They just create amazingly well-crafted pop songs.

I also loved how they translated all of the songs from French into English and released both versions. I admire their work ethic and strength. When they sang People, I’ve Been Sad, I had to take a step back and ask myself ‘have I been sad too?’ And all of sudden this international icon became human to me, vulnerable and I was happy that they revealed a softer side, making me feel okay to be human and sad too. This song is simple, intimate, and stunning. 

Haiku Salut – Pattern Thinker 

I vaguely followed Haiku Salut after hearing about their awesome Lamp Show, where they took twenty, or so, charity shop lamps of varying shapes, sizes and wired them to interact with the music at their live shows. It was pretty quirky but also beautiful. It was more recently however that I was drawn to their music after a friend recommended them, and that I came across this piece. Pattern Thinker is a full eleven-minute track that the band scored in response to a commission for Live Cinema UK and it absolutely beautiful. Although I haven’t seen the film that the piece was created for, I love that it takes me on my own cinematic journey when I listen to it as it marries intricate electronica with emotive analogue instrumentation creating uplifting and expansive aural landscapes for me to zone out and be taken away from the weight of the day.

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