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Sophie: Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides — ‘experimental music and commercial pop’

Sophie: Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides — ‘experimental music and commercial pop’

June 25
12:57 2018

Commercial pop has a reputation for conservatism, sticking to a tried-and-tested formula. But it is actually always experimenting. New sounds come into fashion, formulas are tweaked. Like any product, change is vital — but so much as to scare the horses.

Sophie, aka electronic music producer Sophie Xeon, operates at the intersection of experimental music and commercial pop. From Scotland but based in Los Angeles, she does not so much blur the boundaries as stage a collision between them. Synthetic girlish vocals are accompanied by sinisterly distorted masculine tones. Beats like pixelated punches are offset by brightly hued melodies. Chart-pop motifs are dismembered and reassembled.

Xeon has pursued this striking aesthetic for a while; it has percolated into the charts through production work for Madonna and Charli XCX. The oddly named Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides, a nonsense-verse take on natural essences and what lies within, is her first album. It is also the first time she has put her face to her music, having previously been anonymous.

There are a series of garish, hyper-kinetic tracks such as “Faceshopping”, an abrasive but catchy number about appearance and identity whose cut-up electronic tones are like facial recognition software going haywire. But there are also more reflective moments, a welcome shift in emphasis, such as the hand-on-heart ballad “It’s Okay to Cry”.


Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides’ is released by Transgressive Records

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