Sound & Vision with Sophie Jamieson

Former Single of the Week, Sink, was our first taste of the hope filled songwriting that Sophie Jamieson has collated on her debut album, Choosing. Ahead of the record’s release (out 2nd December on Bella Union), we chatted to London songwriter about the music and art that’s precious to her.

These are her Sound & Vision picks:

Three Favourite Albums:  

Welcome Home by Hannah Cohen 

I’ve come back to this album time and time again, for its purity, simplicity, warmth and welcoming colours. I once read a quote by Hannah that read something to the effect of ‘I finally made the album I always wanted to make’ and I loved that, it’s an album of love and calm that is not without pain, but pain is just a part of its structure rather than the bones upon which it is built. This album feels like open arms that gather you in with no questions asked.  

Women in Music Pt. III by Haim 

I just feel excited every time I remember this album exists. There is so much within it, it’s a big winding path through strength, joy, depression, love, sass, anger – I literally could not want anything more. I’ve always loved the sense of place, the rootedness in LA of this record that might have had something to do with releasing it during the pandemic… it pulls all the songs into a time and place and also a kind of endless summer that hangs over the big highs and lows – few records give me so much energy and joy.  

Songs & Instrumentals by Adrianne Lenker 

This album has changed the way I think about writing and recording. As someone who has been wracked by perfectionism all her life, and meticulous to an almost harmful degree, the non-exactness and humanity within this album has created some of my favourite recorded moments. I think I will spend my whole musical career trying to let go enough to let anything as magic, organic and affecting as this come to life under my thumb.  

Favourite Book –

Don’t Push The River by Barry Stevens  

The book I’m reading at the moment is looking to be something I come back to and try to live by. I’m reading it slowly because I have to stop and think after every other paragraph. It’s basically a stream of consciousness written by a woman who is training to be a Gestalt therapist. This book is teaching me, in the most interesting and non-prescriptive way, how to let go, stop trying to control, grow my awareness rather than develop my thinking. The message of Gestalt is ‘Lose your mind, and come to your senses’. This makes a lot of sense to me.  

Favourite Film –

Thelma & Louise  

This film came out shortly after I was born and it is still completely relevant, revolutionary and still pisses people off. Nothing has ever spoken to the furious, hurt and frustrated woman inside me like this film has. The message in the end that women will be free or drive joyfully over a cliff into the grand canyon is so devastating and empowering and timeless. It’s also one of the most beautiful portrayals of female friendship, one that reminds me so much of one of my own most formative friendships (I was Thelma) through which I lost some of my innocence, and was encouraged to be unapologetically myself.  

A song that means something to me –

People’s Faces by Kae Tempest  

This song has literally taught me to look up more and look for beauty when the heart is aching. I heard it for the first time during a hard time this year, when I was getting chucked out of my home and really struggling to find a new one that I could afford. I listened to it on repeat as I trudged from viewing to viewing, it seemed to alleviate some of the weight from my shoulders. I actually stood on a station platform after viewing the room I would eventually take, looking at people’s faces around me and realising I had never thought to find relief in this infinite source of beauty and joy.

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