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Úvodní stránka » NEWS » Sophia Kennedy
Sophia Kennedy — Sophia Kennedy (28 Apr 2017)

Sophia Kennedy — Sophia Kennedy (28 Apr 2017)    Sophia Kennedy — Sophia Kennedy (28 Apr 2017)   Sophia Kennedy — Sophia Kennedy (28 Apr 2017)•    “Spartan arrangements and electronic textures.” Sophia Kennedy Made the Best Pop Record You’ve Probably Never Heard Of.    
Location: Baltimore, Hamburg
Genre: Electronic, Pop, Singer~Songwriter
Style: Leftfield
Album release: 28 Apr 2017
Record Label: Pampa Records
Duration:     44:18
Tracks:
A1 Build Me A House     3:30
A2 Dizzy Izzy     3:38
A3 William By The Windowsill     4:08
A4 Being Special     3:05
A5 Kimono Hill     5:00
A6 3.05     4:34
B1 Something Is Coming My Way     4:15
B2 A Bug On A Rug In A Building     4:54
B3 Foam     3:55
B4 Baltimore     4:10
B5 Hello, I Found You     3:09
Producer: Mense Reents, Sophia KennedyFotka uživatele Ben Tais Amundssen.     Sophia Kennedy, Baltimore, Maryland ~ Hamburg, Germany. Photo credit © Rosanna Graf
Review
Philip Sherburne, MAY 1 2017 / Score: 7.8
•     On Sophia Kennedy’s bewitching debut LP, flickering electronic music mingles with scraps of Tin Pan Alley signage. It’s an unlikely release from DJ Koze and Marcus Fink’s dance~oriented Pampa Records.
•     “Being lonely makes you special/But being special makes you lonely too,” Sophia Kennedy sings in “Being Special,” one of the witty, mysterious songs on her bewitching debut. Loneliness is a running theme throughout the album, yet her voice radiates delight; her language wears a faintly hallucinatory halo, placing the humdrum mechanics of living and longing in the shadow of melting clocks and “volleyball weather,” whatever that might be. Special she certainly is: Sophia Kennedy introduces us to a powerhouse voice and a unique sensibility, one where flickering electronic music mingles with scraps of Tin Pan Alley signage, and where knotty bon mots and curious non sequiturs make heartbreak seem almost surmountable.
•     Her specialness begins with her trajectory. Raised in Baltimore, Kennedy moved to Hamburg to study film and ended up staying there, writing music for theater — hardly the usual path for an emerging singer~songwriter. Given the kind of music she makes, it’s also unusual that her album appears on DJ Koze and Marcus Fink’s Pampa Records, a label far better known for house and techno. Granted, the artists on Pampa’s roster — Axel Boman, Ada, Robag Wruhme, Isolée — are no strangers to quirk, and Kennedy’s idiosyncratic music is as at home there as it would be anywhere else. Her co~producer here is Mense Reents, a veteran of a number of oddball Hamburg acts including Egoexpress, Die Goldenen Zitronen, and the Pampa~signed Die Vögel. The latter duo’s primary claim to fame is “The Chicken,” a minimalist house track that turns an off~the~cuff comment from Werner Herzog (“Try to look a chicken in the eye with great intensity”) into an unlikely dancefloor refrain. Here, though, offbeat details never overpower the music’s sentimental pull.
•     If you are accustomed to hearing pop music largely as a nexus of comparison points, a collection of small differences, Kennedy may leave you pleasantly flummoxed. It’s not entirely sui generis; she borrows Lou Reed’s sneering diction and boogie~woogie piano in “William By the Windowsill” and Stereolab’s gleaming organs for “Kimono Hill.” A trim, salsa~inspired bassline nestles inside the flickering machine beat of “3:05,” and “A Bug on a Rug in a Building” offers flashbacks to the DIY electronic pop of the German Wohnzimmerszene (“living~room scene”) of the 1990s. But these fleeting reference points function mainly like windows within an interior of her own design, one defined largely by bold, declarative keyboards and multi~tracked vocals. In “Foam,” trap beats and Phil Collins~grade drum fills serve as fuses for Kennedy’s close~harmonized fireworks. In “Dizzy Izzy,” a buzzing jaw harp twangs against cellos sampled from Nat Baldwin’s “In the Hollows” — an incongruous pairing, perhaps, but one that somehow makes sense in the glow of Kennedy’s arcing melodic line.
•     It all adds up to a frequently exhilarating listen, so it’s ironic that Kennedy’s lyrics are so often full of doubt. In “William By the Windowsill,” her character longs to stick his head into “The gutter of the roof/And whistle all the saddest tunes.” Behind the inscrutable roll call of “Dizzy Izzy” lies an observation that any high~school~reunion attendee will recognize as true: “In the mirror of our hometown/We are all the troubled ones.” Much of the album’s anxiety revolves around home. “I don’t know/Where I live,” she admits in the slinky, nervous “3:05,” and in the opening of “Build Me a House,” one of the album’s most gripping and immediate songs, she pleads, “Build me a house/Where I can live in.” It’s the most prosaic of requests, but the intensity of her singing elevates the sentiment until it seems almost existential.
•     Is this longing a kind of homesickness? A clue might be found in one of the album’s most affecting songs. In an early version, titled “Springtime in New Orleans,” she sings of blooming flowers and aching hearts in a voice reminiscent of Ella Fitzgerald. It feels like a pastiche of a silver~screen tearjerker, but in the album version, her voice has mellowed; gone is any trace of archness or irony. On the album, the song is called “Baltimore,” and with its new closing lines — “Gone without a trace, my love/Lost in Baltimore” — it no longer feels like a character study. Wreathed in warm strings but pierced by a sliver of digital noise, like a reminder that the prettification of grief has cold limits, it feels as real as a song can feel.   •     http://pitchfork.com/
Review
Jens Balzer
Sophia Kennedy
♦¬    Elegant, melancholisch, manchmal bedrohlich, mit schwelgenden Klaviermelodien, wüst wimmernden Orgeln und flott gelooptem Maultrommelgeploinke; von güldener kalifornischer Sonne befunkelt und von düster dräuendem Nebel umflort: Sophia Kennedy ist die wandlungsreichste Komponistin, die wir in der deutschen Popmusik derzeit besitzen, und die tollste Sängerin ist sie sowieso. Ihr Debütalbum „Sophia Kennedy“ zeigt sie als dramatische Romantikerin und distanzierte Diseuse, als Sprachspielartistin und Melodiemeisterin; in ihren elf Liedern reist sie vom Doo~wop zum Dubstep, vom klassischen Crooning bis zum stoßgehechelten R’n’B, von Frank Sinatra bis zu Beyoncé; eine Songwriting~Kunst, die tief in der Geschichte wurzelt und doch nichts anderes will als die Gegenwart: historisch versiert und zugleich zeitlos schön.
♦¬    Sophia Kennedy wuchs in Baltimore auf; als sie zum Filmstudium nach Hamburg zog, sorgte sie sogleich für Verzückung: Auf der Single „Angel Lagoon“, die sie im Herbst 2013 mit dem Tastenfex Carsten „Erobique“ Meyer aufnahm, klang sie so lieblich, lockend und abgebrüht wie keine andere Sängerin der Saison. In den folgenden Jahren komponierte sie vor allem Theatermusik und tastete sich an das heran, wa zu ihrem eigenen Stil wurde: Ironie ist darin nicht wichtig, es geht um Aneignung und Anverwandlung und darum, sich mit wirkungsvoll~minimalistischen Mitteln Raum für die Stimme, das Singen zu schaffen.
♦¬    „Sophia Kennedy“ hat das Album gemeinsam mit Mense Reents, den man von den Vögeln und den Goldenen Zitronen kennt, produziert und aufgenommen. Zusammen haben sie die spartanischen Arrangements und elektronischen Texturen entwickelt, die den eigenwillig dichten Sound dieses Albums bestimmen. Oft ist Kennedys Stimme das einzige Instrument, das über den repetitiven Strukturen eine harmonische Entwicklung verfolgt. Dann wieder verdoppelt und vervielfacht sie sich und singt mit sich selber im Chor; zu hoppelndem Klavier brilliert sie in kecken Synkopen ebenso wie im Fach des melancholischen Barmens wie aus einer späten Beach~Boys~Ballade. So entsteht eine vielgestaltige, individuelle Musik, die allen Fallen der Innerlichkeit doch leichthin entkommt: wie ihre Texte sich auch aus scheinbar schlichten Sprachspielereien zu subjektiven Bekenntnisbildern entfalten, ohne jemals ins gespreizte Pathos romantischer Ich~Widerspiegelung zu regredieren.
♦¬    Auf Pampa Records ist dies die erste Songwriting~Platte, und doch passt „Sophia Kennedy“ nirgendwohin so gut wie auf dieses Label, das sich seit fast einem Jahrzehnt um die Verbindung von Tradition und Moderne, von avantgardistischem Erfindungsgeist und Pop~Sensibilität verdient gemacht hat. Man kann in jedem Stück andere Traditionen und historische Prägungen hören; man kann es aber auch lassen und sich einfach an der Kunstfertigkeit freuen, mit der Sophia Kennedy aus dem Wissen der klassischen Songwriting-Kunst eine absolut aktuelle musikalische Sprache erschafft: „Ich will das Traditionelle an die Grenze bringen, an der es extrem wird“, sagt sie; und es klingt doch alles ganz leicht und nicht ausgedacht. In der scheinbaren Einfachheit liegt die unerhörte Raffinesse dieser Musik: „Man darf“, sagt Sophia Kennedy, „einfach keine Angst haben, dass Pop daraus wird“.
♦¬  http://www.tomprodukt.de/                                                                                                                        Words
/ Claire Sawers
/ Published / Sat, 6 May 2017 / Score: 3.3/5

•     The blocky chords that open Sophia Kennedy’s self~titled debut album sound as though they might lead into a nice chunk of piano house. The title of that song, “Build Me A House,” helps plant the same idea. Pampa Records usually release house and techno from acts like Robag Wruhme, Isolée and DJ Koze, the label’s cofounder. But the Hamburg label’s latest album is a “songwriting record” from a Baltimore~raised, Hamburg~based artist seemingly unconnected with dance music.
•     Kennedy dresses up her dramatic songs in quirky layers. They recall the oddball pop of Tune~Yards and the playful wordplay of The Moldy Peaches. “Dizzy Izzy,” for example, is a tongue~twister of rhymes — about “lazy Lizzy” and “Alice in the palace,” asking a “yellow helicopter to take me to the mental doctor” — with driving strings in front of a bouncy Jew’s harp.
•     Her voice is warped with effects throughout the record. She swings between Shirley Bassey~style theatrics (“Kimono Hill”), soulful sugariness (“Foam”) and plaintive echoes of St. Vincent (“Baltimore”). It’s an album with a rich variety of acoustic and electronic sounds: there are crisp pianos, robot~voiced chorales and synth serenades. But the lyrics about “lovely sugar bunnies,” “snails that have been operated on” and “dogs on logs with anxiety” start feeling a bit daft. It’s as though she wants her words to be something her voice can play around with. That’s not necessarily bad — it worked nicely for Ivor Cutler and the Cocteau Twins — but it begins to grate over the course of 11 tracks.
•     Whether you fall in love with Sophia Kennedy probably depends on where you draw the line between playful and kitsch. Kennedy’s theatrical ballads and textured instrumentation, while often engaging, can sometimes seem a little too busy. But Sophia Kennedy is a colourful album from an artist with a fertile mind and a strong voice.   •  •     https://www.residentadvisor.net/ /
Label: http://www.pamparecords.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sophiakennedyofficial/
Interview by Dayna Evans / June 23, 2017, 9:32 am
•    Sophia Kennedy Made the Best Pop Record You’ve Probably Never Heard Of
•    https://www.thecut.com/2017/06/sophia-kennedy-pampa-records-interview.html 

  Fotka uživatele Ben Tais Amundssen._____________________________________________________________

Sophia Kennedy — Sophia Kennedy (28 Apr 2017)

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