EP Review: Sophie and the Giants - ‘Adolescence’
Euphoric, powerful, impossibly melodic- we have another contender to the pop throne.
Female artists at the moment are breaking out of their shell. Gone are the fragile, puppy eyed singer/songwriters - enter the chameleon, gender-bending godesses (Christine & The Queens, SOPhIE), 16-year old genre-defying classicists (Billie Ellish) and powerful feminist icons (Halsey) and just like the second season of Game of Thrones, we have a new pretender to the throne. Sophie and the Giants have an extensive array of influences, a dominant attitude in the face of patriarchal societies and an indomitable live presence that is ever growing- a recent European tour support with Tom Grennan and UK support dates with Findlay is only impacting positively on a fantastic reputation. The real meat and potatoes however are if the songs are any good. And of course they are.
Th EP as a whole is an intriguing, rapturous and celebratory listen- but opener "Waste My Air" is one hell of a statement of intent. The best song to come from Sophie & the Giants yet for some reason reminds me of the song "Pompeii" by Bastille, but imagine if everything that makes that song saccharine and plasitic was fizzy, golden and fresh. Opening with acoustic guitar chimes (not dissimilar to the way "Chop Suey!" opens) and a sparse studio-soundscape, the song explodes into an unforgettable pre chorus melody and announcement from Sophie claiming that she owns you. You'd be hard pressed to argue. Recent singles Space Girl and Bulldog don't quite live up to their predecessor but there's a lot to love in both songs, not least Sophie's voice in the former- showing a versatility similar to the one Florence Welch has been showcasing over the last decade. Over a skittery Foals-esque beat, the song reaches the stratosphere with a fantastic chorus.
Ending the EP on "Bulldog" is maybe somewhat naive- a song that shows a more vulnerable side to the band and sometimes comes off a little high school esque. But it still showcases that aforementioned versatility and dominance, that despite not quite coming off this time promises an awful lot of potential for this Guildford cum Sheffield pop wunderkind.
Words by James Kitchen