Single of the week: Sophie Jamieson – Sink review

by Paddy Kinsella

London songwriter, Sophie Jamieson, describes the songs from her last two EPs – 2020’s Release and Hammer – as ‘black holes’. While the irregular synths provided occasional glimpses of light, the songs were as dark as the capital’s evening skies that hung over each of the accompanying videos. Listening was only possible when you were able to take on their hefty emotional weight.

Sink – her first single for Bella Union – is an accessible, hopeful counterpoint to those releases. Those songs had an omnipresent quality; when you were enshrouded in their darkness, they demanded you stayed put. Sink, meanwhile, is reminiscent of a walk mapped out by seasoned locals, the pub arriving just as fluids are required, the route looping gradually to take you back to your starting point.

Arriving after the first verse, the plink plonking piano marks this shift – its playfulness turning the tide on a song which initially guises as a bare, piano ballad. Bridges like this didn’t exist on her previous EPs and neither did the hope they take us too. In fitting with the title of the upcoming album it’s taken from, Choosing, this first taste is about the star of a life-lived-better that Jamieson followed when alcoholism threatened to pull her under. This judicious consideration of the pros and cons, reflected in the newfound push and pull of her music which had previously only pushed, is the sound of an artist who knows that you can only find the way by getting lost in the first place. Whereas previously we could only join her if we were ready to sink, we can now watch her rise whenever we like.

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