Sophie and the Giants Deliver on their Debut EP ‘Adolescence’
Sophie and the Giants released their debut EP, Adolescence on 26th October following the release of their debut single, ‘Monsters’ in April’. The band have already created waves in the world of music, Sheffield legend, Jon McClure of Reverend and the Makers, taking the band under his wing and onto his tour after their move to the North from Guilford. Since then, the band have continued to support acts such as Tom Grennan and Pretty Vicious, their live performances being second to none. It’ll be interesting to see how their EP compares.
The three track EP kicks off with ‘Waste my Air’. Beginning with a soft acoustic guitar intro, a delicate rhythmic melody is established, starting with ‘Purple lips/ Filter tips/ Body stripped’. We can really see adolescence itself being defined in the sound, a certain hesitance expressed sonically, expressing an extent of hesitation which is often felt in the toxicity of adolescent relationships; vocalist Sophie explaining how the track is based around ‘desperately trying to hold onto something’ but finally letting go, demonstrating how she ‘accepted change and took ownership of the situation’.
Both lyrically and sonically this change of attitude is reflected. The track builds to be so much more than a vulnerable acoustic ballad – the intensity of the drum combined with Sophie’s soaring vocals subverts the notion of vulnerability in the situation. It rather empowers with “Breaking in two/ I pray for you/ I made the bones for you to hold onto/ Lie in the rain/ Forget the shame/ I’ll change the game again and I own you” which is further exacerbated by “Tell him don’t waste my air” and “Show me someone who cares”. Rather than toxic acceptance for the sake of companionship in adolescence, Sophie advocates for fierce independence and ownership.
Florence Welch comes to mind even with your first listen of the second track, ‘Space Girl’. With a much funkier vibe than the previous track, Sophie drags her words beautifully. Again, the track builds and with a brief silence you can hear your heart beating in your chest, preparing you for what’s to come.
Beginning “I had to drift away”, the chorus elevates the song to be one of great euphoria which would no doubt fill a room. The production of the track is what really allows it to feel like the picture perfect gig track with swaying arms left right and centre. The combination of both the insertions of space like sounds and the old school adlibs in the place of lyrics, the track is one of great intricacy. It appears that the band is really exploring their sound even in this first release, something that is really quite refreshing to see.
Sophie becomes a critical raconteur in the closing track, ‘Bulldog’. With a step away from a poppy sound, this track feels heavier than the previous two and is particularly powerful. Sophie’s strong vocals are initially isolated with the delivery of “Don’t fuck with my friends”, which is then built upon with interesting layers of production. The fierce lyrical content is complemented well by a gradual increase in production as Sophie establishes herself as a bulldog; diminishing the presence of a continual oppositional force, leading them to look into her eyes as she berates them lyrically.
Although there is a certain vulnerable aspect whereby Sophie professes her care towards the actions of the accused, she takes no prisoners and establishes herself as the conqueror of the situation. While adolescent rivalries can be alluded to, we can almost see that the ‘Bulldog’ can characterise the band itself, their determination to succeed making them fiercely involved in their musical journey, be it their constant gigging or their energy put behind this release.
All in all, this EP proves that Sophie and the Giants are one of the most exciting new bands there is. The title of the album seems to be encapsulated in regards to experiences such as relationships, break ups and rivalries, all created with an interesting sonic production and strong vocal deliveries, but there seems to be more years behind this EP as the bands age suggests. Bass player, Bailey Stapledon states that ‘It’s time for music to be born again’ and I believe that in this EP, it most definitely has been reborn.