fri 03/02/2023

Album: Sophie Jamieson - Choosing | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Sophie Jamieson - Choosing

Album: Sophie Jamieson - Choosing

Disconcerting debut album from London-based singer-songwriter

Sophie Jamieson’s ‘Choosing’: intense

Choosing packs a punch – the effect of which lingers. What’s captured by these 11 songs comes across as unfiltered, disconcertingly direct. And what it is that’s captured appears to be an account of someone getting to grips with how their lifestyle has had negative impacts.

Much of the London-based singer-songwriter Sophie Jamieson’s debut album is – openly – about how alcohol was a friend which became an enemy. Jamieson has said the choice had to be made between whether to abandon it or surrender herself to its spell. Choosing’s opening track “Addition” is an account of a drunken night. “Long Play”, the closer, also reports on an evening defined by alcohol. Throughout, metaphors involve water. The lyrics also express the view that experiencing something overwhelming can cause the equivalent of depletion or inertia. Undergoing excess results in deficiency.

Musically, the songs on the sparsely arranged Choosing sometimes suggest a refraction of Uzi, Tim Buckley's drama, Judee Sill's gospel edge or Thom Yorke's wobbliness. Sudden squalls of fragmented, strummed electric guitar interpose themselves. Jamieson’s vocal phrasing frequently sets off in surprising directions – the ear becomes familiarised to these twists and turns. Despite the sudden tonal changes, melody and structure are never surrendered.

Though intense, Choosing is neither tiresomely solipsistic, superficially confessional or maudlin. Despite its lyrical facility, it is conversationally matter of fact. It is also not sorrowful. The songwriter is at a distance from what's recounted. Jamieson has followed her two 2020 EPs with an album where the core themes don’t overwhelm what’s heard. Taken together, the arrangements, melodies, songs and voice could be enough. The forcefulness means Choosing instantly makes its case. It also means the initial impact does not dissipate.

@MrKieronTyler

The initial impact of ‘Choosing’ does not dissipate

rating

Editor Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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