SXSW Review: And you thought “Bipp” was catchy… SOPHIE is going to change the electronic landscape in 2014

“I can make you feel better, 

if you let me. 

I can make you feel better, 

if you want to. 

I can make you feel better, 

and you know you will.”

There really isn’t that much to SOPHIE’s infectious first single “Bipp” that he released last year. It takes a simple hook that repeats through most of the song; the music is very spacious which puts a focus on the space in-between the melody and the bass; all in all it’s not much more than a very experimental pop song.

And yet it’s something entirely new. It is rare for a new artist to truly shock me. Usually it takes a few releases before I realize that an artist is doing something really great, maybe after a few singles, or EPs or album releases. SOPHIE did this with only a single single released.

It’s hard to really pin down what made “Bipp” such a breakaway success, but it’s a song that I would consider universally likable. It appeals to just about anyone: electronic fans, pop fans, it doesn’t matter. But since the track was released over 9 months ago, we’ve heard little in the way of new tracks. It’s been musical blue balls, where SOPHIE gets off from being withholding.

And while there still have been no new official releases, SOPHIE has done a number of live shows around the UK and recently at SXSW. Last night I was able to see the elusive performer, and what I can say is he is sitting on a mountain of gold in unreleased tracks that need to come out as soon as humanly possible. All of his tracks that he played were new tracks (surprisingly he didn’t play “Bipp” or “Elle”, but I can’t complain) and some of them left me floored. A few of the tracks followed in the footsteps of “Bipp”, which ended up being some of the best songs I’ve heard this year. Other tracks were more experimental dance beats similar to what he did on “Elle”. His tracks never kept a consistent tempo, so he’s not really pinning himself into a particular niche, but rather experimenting with existing conventions in a way that I haven’t heard in years.

Honestly, I’m of the opinion that SOPHIE is a revolutionary in the same way that Burial was in the mid-aughts. It’s hard to judge what an artist can do with only 2 released songs, but I can tell you that the music he has made is absolutely jawdropping. If you are still at SXSW he will play a few more shows through saturday so now is the time to check him out if you are in Austin. For everyone else, trust me when I say that once SOPHIE releases his next single, you won’t be thinking that his success with “Bipp” was a fluke.


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