We live in a time of shifting boundaries. Geography, culture and privacy, among others, are places of fluid and overlapping borders, a result of the interconnected world we are creating. Our fingertips are magic wands that instantly conjure information, music and our intimate desires from remote corners of our planet, and the universe that surrounds it.
This phenomenon is most noticeable in music. Younger artists who grew up hearing “World Music,” Hip Hop, and more established musical genres, internalized those sounds, creating exciting new compositions. These compositions reinforce the fact that real music doesn’t usually fit in a standardized box, it flies out of it in a beautiful explosion of joy and fury, love and rage. Any fool who complains that “there’s no good new music,” needs to drop the Walkman and leave their cave once in awhile.
Electronica Chanteuse Sophie Letitre has been exploding those boxes for several years. Her new Division Recordings EP, Take to Heels is not just a collection of six songs; it’s a journey through the soul of a dynamic and insightful artist.
In my mind, the journey begins with us entering a café, where our beguiling chanteuse welcomes us with her unique blend of singer-songwriter coffee house electronica. Mink lined, soulful vocals soar above jagged percussion and sparse instrumentation. On the opening tracks, Bright Colored Side, and Not Helping. Sophie challenges us, singing “Judge me with everything I do, I hope it makes me whole.” This is not a confrontation; it’s an invitation to converse.
The mood at this point, is lighter, tinged with some optimism. This is a taste, something to whet our appetites. She is a Temptress, drawing us in, and once we’re drawn she opens up, just a little. Our Temptress slowly unbuttons her soul and offers a tantalizing glimpse, some intimacy. We brood together through the middle tracks Elevate and Wonder When. “Are the things that we feel making us lonely?” It’s spoken as neither a question nor a statement.Now the buttons are opening faster, one, then another, a few more…then when we are really going, when she knows we’re hooked, Sophie hits us with her dark side. It’s a mix of trippy dissonance and subtle menace that, like a crazy but tempting ex-lover, both attracts and repels us. We know we shouldn’t, but we just can’t help ourselves. On Stranger, we hear, “Come close and taste the sweat…” “Yes, please!” is our response. With our senses at their peak we revel in the dark complexity of the final track; I’ll be Fine, with its dramatic intro and tense interplay between the trippy percussive instrumentation and the silky, melodic vocals. It’s here that our tryst ends. We leave the café through the back door, satisfied but wanting more. The way it should be. Take to Heels is a release that flows from a bright, slightly mainstream opening track, through some brooding introspection then into the darker side of our nature. This journey marks the EP as a complete work that is larger than the sum of its parts. In a previous interview with UKF, the artist stated, “For me it’s about the contrast between the human and acoustic instruments and the electronic sounds.” Later in the interview she adds, “Imperfections are implicit in being human.” These philosophies drive the EP, and truth be told work equally well in day to day life.Tim Dunleavy DNB◉UNITED RECORDS DNB◉UNITED.COM .
Taken from my ,Take To Heels' EP, out now on all digital platforms and 12" vinyl.
Digital / 12” vinyl: http://store.vsnrecs.com
Google Play: https://goo.gl/EMAasU