words by tom johnson
Showing our age somewhat, it was in the Spring of 2014, some six years ago, when we first covered Sophie Jamieson on these pages, heralding her work then as a standout moment of that year. At that time she was in her very early twenties, and her exquisite debut EP heralded much acclaim, leading her to support the likes of Marika Hackman, Pale Seas, and more. tentative steps were becoming strides, eyes were turning.
And then she retreated, a self-defined destructive breakdown leading Sophie to disappear from the gaze, from even making and releasing music at all. She fought depression and loneliness, but somehow, through the turbulence of it all, found a way back to creating, drafting ideas that would eventually lead to her musical return. “Release [the new EP] was written during one of the loneliest periods of my life,” Sophie explains. “Becoming disconnected from those close to me, I searched for connection blindly, drinking past blackout and getting myself into trouble. The next day I would find a way to punish myself. It was a vicious circle.”
Tempered by those struggles, the EP’s lead single ‘Forward’, which is shared here today, is suitably downcast, but it also retains that weightless, meticulous nature that always made Jamieson’s music such a thing of hypnotic power. “Hit the sides, roll the dice. Which way is forward?” she asks in the track’s opening moments; her voice the powerful weight at the centre of it all, just as likely to break it apart as hold it all together. For all of its emotional heft, here are glimmers of lightness.
“Forward is about trying to find some control amid chaos.” Sophie expresses. “My instinct for years had been to deny that a period of time had happened, to empty myself of its trace – but at this point, I began to understand that I could accept it, that it is part of who I am and that I do not have to destroy the evidence of my past in order to move forward.”
Both a tender escape in its own right, and also a moment for celebrating a much hoped for return, ‘Forward’ is captivating, summer’s hollow heart laid bare, but with just enough hope to hold on to; a breath, an exhale, a release. It’s so good to have her back ~ watch the video below right now, which was filmed, directed & edited by Sophie herself.
Sophie Jamieson’s ‘Release‘ EP is out December 1st