Montreal via Quebec City artist Sophia Bel’s musical aesthetics are both delightfully arcane and modestly unsettling. Raised on the crest of the early-2000’s skate-punk and emo wave, she draws inspiration from the blurry outlines of her own childhood, exploring electro-pop and trip-hop productions and injecting each song with candor and irresistible melancholy.
Today she shares her debut EP, “Princess of The Dead, Vol. 1,” a four-track reclamation of the nickname she was given by bullies as a teenager.
Earlier this year Sophia released her first single since 2017 and the EP’s intro track, “Time.” Inspired by Moby’s sweeping compositions, “Time” is punctuated by a fat, clunking bass synth and a singular, steady snare, then underlaid with delicate, reverberant piano. Sophia’s ghostly vocals come in before the track blooms into a lushly emotive soundscape over relaxed hip-hop rhythms.
The Dido- and Avril Lavigne-inspired second single, “Don’t Forget,” has an effortlessly weightless quality; soft-strummed guitar and hazy, detuned synths come together to convey a sense of romantic nostalgia as Sophia grips tightly the remnants of a love drifting away. The intimate music video was filmed in Sophia’s Montreal apartment bathroom in one continuous shot.
“Princess of The Dead, Vol. 1” also features the song “When I Found Love,” which grooves through an easy-paced beat and examines both Sophia’s childhood fascinations and deep wounds; as well as the soaring, house-injected musing on global consciousness, “In My Mind.”
Princess of The Dead, Vol. 1 Track list:
2. When I Found Love
3. In My Mind
4. Don’t Forget
Photo Credit: Dimitri Guedes