oil of every pearl’s un-insides
Musically speaking, 2018 was arguably a rough year for true outsiders. It certainly saw its fair share of compelling releases, but many of the year’s most acclaimed albums came from established artists updating their signature sound or putting their personal stamp on traditional forms. Enter Scottish avant-pop producer Sophie, whose bold debut Oil of Every Pearl's In-Insides crash-landed like a meteor from some vivid yet unfamiliar world where helium-voiced pop and alien ambience share airspace with futuristic electronic bangers, resulting in a record as moving as it is profoundly strange and endlessly fascinating. But its experimental zeal doesn’t come at the expense of cohesion--each jagged tonal shift, from the industrial rumble of “Faceshopping” to the haunting synth soliloquy “Is it Cold in the Water?”, arrives with an intuitive logic. The album unfolds with an almost violent sense of discovery that suggests identity is an endlessly evolving journey, as frightening and uncertain as it is exhilarating. Other albums this year were more immediate, but few were as singular or unpredictable as Sophie’s wild, defiant vision.