There is one theme that almost all the best British music has in common – it’s relatable. Whether it’s Mike Skinner’s drunken ramblings of; “Take it easy, mate, you start to think you're a state, you definitely are a state” on Too Much Brandy. Or, Little Mix proclaiming “You made my heart break and that made me who I am” on Shout Out to My Ex. From top to bottom, the songs that have made an impact regardless of genre are those that have the listener resonating with their story. Left the listener thinking “oh f*ck that could’ve been me’.
The latest artist who seems to have nailed the art is Leicester’s own SOFY, who in just twelve months has produced an EP that confidently tells the story of just about every twenty-something Brit. “Bored in Colour (Pt. 1)”, is exactly what every great artist's first big release should be. As suggested by the title it’s full of colour, it’s a release that revels in storytelling. Yet, determined to be fresh and new, still steers clear of taking the easy route, with SOFY also using her lyrics to raise the questions worth asking.
In SOFY’s own words “For the longest time I thought I wouldn’t be able to write a good song because I haven’t really had anything deep or life affirming happen to me.” Maybe that’s the secret to SOFY’s success, her five-track strong EP masters the mundane. Focusing on relationships and the journey you take with a partner, SOFY plays tennis with the highs and lows of being in a couple, turning the every-day pairing into energetic indie-pop.
The EP kicks off with Strawberry Milkshake, an opener that sets the tone for exactly what SOFY offers. Like all five tracks it’s told from a first-person perspective, with SOFY using the track as a way to dismiss the early doubters couples face. Acknowledging that differences can be what keeps things fun and interesting, and how life would be a little bit boring if we all thought the same. Your mates might not get what you see in one-another, but as far as SOFY’s concerned that’s a “them” problem, she’s doing just fine.
Lads! Lads! Lads!, is a superb breakdown of the pint-sinking, glass clinking, up there for thinking and down there for the dancing bloke that everyone knows. Much like the titular lads themselves the song has its jokes, with the chorus boasting lines such as “Take you for a Nandos, are you gonna bang though?” But by being swiftly followed by “You told him no and he lost it. Coz masculinity is so f*cking toxic.” SOFY is pointing out the problematic but remaining full of charm whilst doing so. The brilliance of the song is mirrored by the equally exceptional music video, a near-perfect embodiment of the track’s inspiration.
A dissection of the early stages of a relationship, Game Over marks the halfway point of the release. A fitting placement, with the track looking at that make-or-break stage relationships face. The ‘are you good for me? Am I good for you?’ stalemate. It’s a feeling we’ll all find ourselves feeling at some point, forced to work out what’s your next step.
The penultimate track on the EP, Chameleon is a brutally honest song, from start to finish. An analysis of being stuck at a house party with people you don’t like. The kind of people who make those you do like turn from knights to knobs. Full of wit and sarcasm, it follows SOFY’s inner monologue as she desperately tries to get through the night without losing her mind or her temper at her boyfriend. Ultimately as the track goes on SOFY’s breaking point edges closer and closer, until the pin drops and the gloves come off. Full of rage and “a warm San Miguel” a drunken rant filled exit marks the scene for Chameleon’s close.
If Game Over and Chameleon marked possible jumping off moments in a rocky relationship, Sorry That You’re Mine offers the grim reality of what might be ahead if you decide to push on as a couple. A desperate effort to convince yourself there’s still some magic left in your relationship, because the reality of being single feels equally bleak. With a topic so sad, it’d have been all too easy to produce a song miserable in tone, yet SOFY’s energy shines through. Aided by indie stars Bad Sounds on production, it marks an exceptional close to the EP. Ultimately with “Bored in Colour (Pt. 1)” SOFY excels at everything she sets out to do. The EP is full of life, whilst reflecting on life. It’s a welcome debut from one of indie music’s freshest faces.
Aside from her upcoming EP, one thing that can’t be argued is that whatever SOFY and her band have done in these last twelve months it’s working. Be it her guerrilla marketing campaign (yes really) for her Christmas single ‘Antifreeze and Chocolate Biscuits’, or a willingness to be the butt of her own jokes on her Instagram. Her success stretches far beyond most artists' first year, with a sold out show at London’s The Social next month just the tip of the iceberg. An iceberg that also includes performing at Maida Vale thanks to BBC Introducing, a second-place finish in BBC Radio 1’s live lounge talent search last year, amongst other accolades. This year has shown that SOFY and co are well on their way to achieving their ultimate goal of “world domination” (again yes really, her words not mine.)
SOFY’s headline show may well have sold out but, luckily for you dear reader her EP is available to pre-save right now on all major streaming platforms, ahead of its release February 25th. SOFY and her band have also already been announced for a handful of festivals this year, including Truck Festival and The Great Escape.