Music Review: SOPHIE – OIL OF EVERY PEARL’S UN-INSIDES

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SOPHIE

OIL OF EVERY PEARL’S UN-INSIDES

[Future Classic; 2018]

Rating: 5/5

Every morning and night, I take two 2mg tablets of estrogen and splace them under my tongue, waiting for them to dissolve into a sickly-sweet teal effervescence that courses through my veins and reshapes my tissues, contorting and remolding my body and mind.

SOPHIE’s debut album, as with her earlier singles, has a resonantly similar focus on remolding raw sonic material, sine waves, sound, vocals, selves. On OIL OF EVERY PEARL’S UN-INSIDES, she expands her scope of materials and means, the musical palette broadening, the song formats mutating and sprawling out. It dances from sledgehammer bangers to aching ballads to screeching drones from track to track, while remaining furiously unstable across even individual songs, its sounds micro-tweaked and mutating at every split second. Pockets of tones snap free, are subsumed, warp. This is a body stretching and growing, caught in flows. Someone sings, “I’m real when I shop my face,” as “Faceshopping” pivots from clattering industrial techno to jubilant ambient house, then adds “Reduce me to nothingness.

As my body contorts on the dancefloor and at an atomic level, I can’t decide if I want to be free of it, to exist as a vague haze left free of referents and expectations and connotations, a nothingness, or if I want to dive deeply into this mutant flesh, into this body locked in an endless becoming with no end, faceshopping.

OIL OF EVERY PEARL’S UN-INSIDES finds itself torn between the presence of sonics and the non-presence of bodies, catches bodies up in sonics and watches them lose their grip on a fixed pole. If her early singles were concerned with the importance of surface presentation, of beautiful, giddy posture and the intense desire produced by commercials and commercial products, her debut focuses on those surfaces as a site of self-hood. Self, here, is unknowable, impossible, defined through latex and histories of house music, through Photoshop and power ballads. “I want to know who you are/ Deep down inside,” someone else sings on “Infatuation” — or maybe it’s the same person as before. The number of vocalists remain uncountable through constant sonic manipulation. A deep, warm bass pulse pushes us along. There is, unexpectedly, a guitar solo of sorts, which is unexpectedly lovely. The vocal melody does not resolve. The lyrics offer us no solution, no solid truth for this “who.”

I am locked into a process of becoming-girl that will never be completed or knowable, both because there is no fixed object that we can name “girl” and because this biochemical process is just one in a flux of material actions, the man on the street who calls me sir, the man in the car who loves my ass, the being next to me in bed who whispers “you’re such a good girl” as they pull my hair and pound my ass with silicon before I’m caught up in a flashback of my anal rape and lose grip on my body and disintegrate into tears, melting into their gentle, caring arms as the material world slowly filters back in.

Pop music is built on a history of love songs and becomings, of a desire to find oneself in another. Madonna wrote “Material Girl,” an anti-love song that is inevitably also a love song to herself, singing “Boys may come and boys may go/ And that’s all right you see/ Experience has made me rich/ And now they’re after me,” a material world building a self through fleeting impressions of and with others. SOPHIE, also perhaps inevitably, writes “Immaterial,” the truest Pop Song on a Great Pop Album, a euphoric number in the classic PC Music hyperpop register that offers, “Without my jeans or my bra/ Without my legs or my hands/ With no name and with no type of story/ Where do I live?/ Tell me where do I exist?” Even when she’s not writing bangers like this song, the pop-drive permeates, this reaching toward another person or thing through codified and socially-coded but endlessly reworked musical forms, through chords and melodies that evoke heartfelt emotional responses through well-worn but ever-fresh routes.

In this music, there is nothing without a signifier; a body is immaterial, a body is raw material for experience, for boys. But here, there is another, and it sings, “You could be me and I could be you,” it sings, “anything, anyhow, any one, any place, any time,” “and no matter where I go, you’ll always be here in my heart.” There are jubilant horns. Auto-tuned vocals leap upward far past the range of unmodified human voice. Is there an unmodified human voice, a voice free of the pressure of vocal training and social training? There is real joy in this fucked-up non-body, these beings of sound and play and fear.

At the end of the day, I also ingest 100mg of progesterone, which for the first month sent me into dissociative fugue but which now leaves my mental state fairly intact. These drugs are like a filter, a mixer, a sampler, a tool for extracting and recombining traits, one tool among many for building a different world. I don’t wish to continue the trope whereby hormones are over-fixated upon as an over-determining node of modulation for a transitioning and impermanent self, but SOPHIE’s music mirrors pharmacological modes of aural consumption and infection in how it enters bodies and reformats them.

The album ends in a warzone with “Whole New World:Pretend World,” a 10-minute, blasted-out shell of largely percussion-free sonic aggression and down-mixed gravelly vocal intonations interspersed with chirpy exclamations of the title. It’s endlessly repetitive, but nothing ever repeats without being reworked or retuned, tiny cycles of new worlds opening and disappearing in sonic violence. It dissolves into hissing and buzzing. It’s a pretend world, a pop world, a Real World. Fractured, inconsistent, broken, torn, OIL OF EVERY PEARL’S UN-INSIDES aims toward the stylistic grandness of High Pop, and in that inconsistence, it achieves it.

In its flows and breakings, it echoes and repeats a fractured self, locating this fracture as something aimed toward futurity, toward a new image of pop music, toward a new mode of being and becoming, toward a new way of moving limbs on a dancefloor with others. It’s incredible.

I’m just a ponyboy, I’m just a ponygirl.

♫ Listen: SOPHIE – OIL OF EVERY PEARL’S UN-INSIDES

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“This is an album for myself, my friends, and all of the sweet people that have supported me and inspired me, I love you. Let’s celebrate.”

A whole new world/SOPHIE’s new album has arrived. :*)

。゚(゚´(00)`゚)゚。 ・゜・(ノД`)
.·´¯`(>▂<)´¯`·. 。・゚゚・(>д<)・゚゚・。
。・゚ヾ(✦థ ェ థ)ノ。゚・。 。:゚(。ノω\。)゚・。
。:゜(;´∩`;)゜:。 。゚( ゚இ‸இ゚)゚。
。゚(゚ノД`゚)゚。 。゜(`Д´)゜。
。・゜・(/□\*)・゜ (ノД`)・゜・。

Stream the entirety of OIL OF EVERY PEARL’S UN-INSIDES below, courtesy of SOPHIE herself.

Premature Evaluation: SOPHIE OIL OF EVERY PEARL’S UN-INSIDES

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SOPHIE OIL OF EVERY PEARL'S UN-INSIDESWhen SOPHIE put out PRODUCT in 2015, it was meant as more of a singles collection than an album. Most of the tracks were released week by week in the leadup to its release and some had even come out years before, so it ended up playing more like a greatest hits album than … More »

SOPHIE details debut album, ‘Oil Of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides’

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After having teased a number of cutting-edge singles over the past six months, including the eerily enticing and beguiling “Faceshopping,” the electronic-pop cross multiplier SOPHIE has announced her debut album Oil Of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides will be released on June 15 via Transgressive Records.

SOPHIE’s most recent musical offerings “‘It’s Okay To Cry,” “Ponyboy,” and “Faceshopping” will all be featured on the new LP, the follow-up to 2015’s Product.

Oil Of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides‘ tracklist has yet to be revealed.

SOPHIE announces debut album OIL OF EVERY PEARL’s UN-INSIDES

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BREAKING. FUCKING. NEWS.

At long last, SOPHIE (a.k.a. Sophie Xeon) has finally announced the release of debut album OIL OF EVERY PEARL’s UN-INSIDES, the de facto follow-up to compilation record PRODUCT (TMT’s #10 pick of 2015). The *NEW* nine-track record is out June 15 via MSMSMSM INC and Future Classic.

As it turns out, the album kicks off with the first three singles — “It’s Okay to Cry,” “Ponyboy,” and “Faceshopping” — in order. While the rest of the tracklist couldn’t possibly contain every fan favorite (missing are songs like “The Way I Am” and “Kitty Kat”), it does include favs like “Is It Cold In The Water?” and “Immaterial,” as well as epic nine-minute closer “Whole New World” — all promising to induce expansive exothermic body reactions.

SOPHIE’s elaborate live show is also coming to a bunch of cities, including where you, specifically, live (not guaranteed). Dates and tracklist can be found beneath this commercial:

SOPHIE tour:

06.09.18 – Milan, Italy – Radar Festival
06.15.18 – Barcelona, Spain – Sonar by Day
06.22.18 – Brooklyn, NY – LadyLand
06.23.18 – Mexico City, MX – Traición
07.07.18 – Trencin, Slovakia – Pohoda Festival
07.12.18 – Lisbon, Portugal – NOS Alive
07.13.18 – Bilbao, Spain – Bilbao BBK Live
08.17.18 – Hasselt, Belgium – Pukkelpop Festival
09.14.18 – Los Angeles, CA – 1720
09.15.18 – San Francisco, CA – August Hall
09.16.18 – Vancouver, BC – Westward Music Festival
09.26.18 – Toronto, ON – The Mod Club
09.27-29.18 – Montreal, QC – POP Montreal

OIL OF EVERY PEARL’s UN-INSIDES tracklist:

01. It’s Okay To Cry
02. Ponyboy
03. Faceshopping
04. Is It Cold In The Water?
05. Infatuation
06. Not Okay
07. Pretending
08. Immaterial
09. Whole New World:Pretend World

LadyLand Festival to debut in NYC this June with SOPHIE, Eve, SSION, and the world record-holders for “Largest Love-Army”

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Hey, yo, Brooklynites: are you ready to celebrate Pride Month with the wildest conglomeration of musical artists you’re likely to see this summer?! If so, you’ll be happy to hear about the brand new LadyLand Festival being held at Brooklyn Mirage on June 22 (and if not, just GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE [no, just kidding, you should stay 🙂 ]).

LadyLand is the brainchild of New York nightlife mastermind Ladyfag, and it’s of course being staged as an all-out celebration of Pride and queer music. The lineup is fittingly stacked, featuring performances from SOPHIE, Eve, SSION, Tommy Genesis, Kim Petras, and so many more they barely fit on the poster — not to mention NYC’s finest art and designers. Plus, everyone loves a summer fest with a philosophy, right?? Here’s LadyLand’s:

LadyLand is a festival for everyone and all are welcome with open arms. That said, it is an intentionally queer space in celebration of Pride. There will be ZERO tolerance for any homophobia, transphobia, racism, sexism, or any aggression or violence toward others, or you will be asked to leave. As New Yorkers say, if you see something say something! Our team will be there to help if any problems should arise.

Come join our army of lovers…

I can feel the love all the way from not-Brooklyn!

If you’re down to party with a legion of like-minded folk a little more than a month from now, you’ll be wanting to pick up LadyLand tickets here (available in three tiers!) and check out more info on the official website, including a full breakdown of the entire lineup! (And check out that snazzy poster, huh?)

At any rate: have a joyous Pride Month, New York!


SOPHIE’s New Album Is Now Titled OIL OF EVERY PEARL’S UN-INSIDES

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The new SOPHIE album has been a long time coming. The hype started last October with “It’s Okay To Cry” and has been building since then, with two more singles — “Ponyboy” and “Faceshopping” — and a string of fantastic live performances. The producer announced last month that the album … More »

SOPHIE’s debut album OIL OF EVERY PEARL’S UN-INSIDES is coming soon

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We’re getting even closer. First, there were three new songs, then there was the announcement that the album was completed. Today? Well, today, we get the album title. YEP THIS IS NEWS: SOPHIE’s long-awaited debut is titled OIL OF EVERY PEARL’S UN-INSIDES, and according to a recent interview with CRACK, it’s “coming soon” via MSMSMSM INC and Transgressive Records.

That’s all we got for concrete album info. But, according to TMT’s new content director, SEO specialist, and in-house millennial, that’s OK. For now, some choice quotes from the CRACK interview:

• “Something that I wanted to do with SOPHIE music is to frame the understanding of how people can relate to sound in a human way – in a way that’s not blokey or geeky, and in a way that can live in people’s real lives.”

• “Mainstream music is not exclusive, it’s not elitist. And those are the standards I want to maintain in my music.”

• “It’s tough when firstly you want to be seen as a woman, and you want to be seen as an artist and an individual. So to have something like your gender identity preceding everything that’s written about you is difficult. It can be humiliating to be singled out in that way.”

For more on SOPHIE, read the full interview here and/or scroll through i-D’s recent feature here. Details on OIL OF EVERY PEARL’S UN-INSIDES are expected shortly, but in the meantime, peruse SOPHIE’s recent promotional products below.

Let’s Eat Grandma – “It’s Not Just Me” (Prod. SOPHIE & The Horrors’ Faris Badwan) Video

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This new Let’s Eat Grandma album is gonna be a good one, eh? The precocious British teens have delivered some real stunners in the lead-up to June’s I’m All Ears, including the SOPHIE-produced left turn “HOT PINK” and the equally adventurous “Falling Into Me.” Today’s third single is a bit more straightforward but … More »

SOPHIE says her new album is finished, and why would SOPHIE lie?

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JEEZ, everywhere you look nowadays, it’s nothing but SOPHIE SOPHIE SOPHIE.

“SOPHIE the British Producer” THIS…and “SOPHIE the hot-AF multimedia artist” THAT…

…and now (fucking SURPRISE-SURPRISE:) it’s “SOPHIE SAYS ON INSTAGRAM THAT HER NEW ALBUM IS DONE”.

I mean, give me a BREAK The internet is crowded enough already, don’t you think?!!

…Then, you got all these hideous BLOCKQUOTES on the goddamn internet, too; and they’re all-like:

My album (not called Whole New World) is finished so hopefully they can get it out soon with minimal faff.
 -SOPHIE

…and then, there’s this BANGING AS SHIT, seizure-educing BRAND NEW VIDEO that just dropped to accompany SOPHIE’s announcement, and it’s all-like:

I mean: what is this? Like, some kinda Prodigy.net chat room, sponsored by SOPHIE, INC???

Oh, I know! Shit, how about I embed that INSTAGRAM THING for you, so there can be ANOTHER glitzy, flashy, SOPHIE-RELATED THING for you to look at!

Screw it, I’m doing it:

And festival dates! I almost forgot FESTIVAL DATES! WHY WOULDN’T THERE BE FESTIVAL DATES?!?

04.21.18 – Atlanta, GA – Drunken Unicorn
05.13.18 – Acrosant, AZ – FORM Arcosanti
06.09.18 – Milan, Italy – Radar
06.15.18 – Barcelona, Spain – Sonar
07.07.18 – Trenčín, Slovakia – Pohoda Festival
07.12.18 – Oeiras, Portugal – NOS Alive
07.13.18 – Bilbao, Spain – Bilbao BBK Live