Released: April 2020
'While You Were Sleeping...' presents a retrospective account of a project that has had a few months to marinate. This week sees us returning to a superb release from April, SOPHIETHEHOMIE’s Cabin Fever EP.
This work really demonstrates that true genius lies in melodic composition over layers. Utilising live bass, drums, 808, keys, guitar, trumpet and vocals this 3 track EP is arresting from the jump and one of the most sophisticated projects I’ve heard in recent times.
Opening track ‘fall’ discusses a relationship that feels like a house built on the sand. The bass line is the focal point and is fiercely independent, melodically played and deep in the pocket. The thudding kick and rim shot drag of the drums really give weight to the frustration in the lyrics depicting being on the receiving end of unjustified accusations and still loving the accuser. Second track ‘rise’ utilises the bare minimum of 808 kick and snare but sequences them in such a brilliant way as to achieve maximum momentum when combined with the equally ingenious bass line. Grounding manipulated backing vocals counterpoint with SOPHIE’s exquisite hooks, with a spoken word feature that is perfectly rhythmically arranged into absolute structure.
Final track ‘end’ is drenched in chamber reverb that sounds like walking through a corridor into a large hall, where we can hear inflections of vocals from the previous track applied with such informed originality that it becomes its own entity.
Managing to juxtapose strong and authoritative bass grooves alongside sublime keys and touchingly yearning vocals, presents a sound in R&B somewhat unexplored. It is indeed the rawness of the project that beguiles you. Fans of Solange who are looking for something perhaps a little less ethereal but equally as enchanting will be thrilled.