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Sophie Cooper comes from Stoke on Trent, but now lives in Todmorden, West Yorkshire. Unfortunately, unless you’re familiar with UK geography, this will mean nothing to you. More importantly then, Cooper is a solo musician who incorporates elements of noise and experimental electronics into her songs, making a kind of modern folk music for the digital era.
Perhaps the most captivating element in Labyrinth is its intimate nature, which has a Jandek-like rawness. Stark acoustic guitars share the same space as electronic tones, dreamy vocals and effects. They may not always blend perfectly, but that’s precisely why they work. There’s an honesty that can’t be ignored, a truth that celebrates girlishness and elevates it to a level of high art without trying. When Sophie sings about falling in love with “The Man Who Doesn’t Smoke,” it’s an affirmation of herself and the choices she’s made. Even the seemingly flippant opener, “Hello Sophie,” which assembles bits and pieces of phone messages, offers a deeper insight into the way technology has become so ingrained in our lives. There’s a sly deception to these tracks, an innocence that betrays great wisdom and inspires us to look deeper into the well.
Labyrinth is an album of many levels that become more apparent with every listen. It’s like listening to dreams and wondering what they mean, but finding a new meaning with each subsequent listen. See the world through Sophie Cooper’s eyes for a while and experience an entirely new world of perception.
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