Sofia Sarri



by J.C. van Beekum USER (20 Reviews)
November 2nd, 2019 | 1 replies

Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Astonishing variety and unmistakable beauty!

Hailing from the exotic island of Creta, Greece, comes the debut effort from Greek singer and composer, Sofia Sarri. Perhaps most known for her many and varied appearances and collaborations across the musical world, including the excellent and most recent record from progressive, experimental black-metal outfit Aenaon and post-rock collective Night on Earth, Sofia Sarri has now presented with her first real solo-release Euphoria. An emotional rollercoaster of an album, featuring mesmerizing vocals and a noticeable propensity for experimentation. For, categorizing Sofia’s music into a single genre would be an impossible talk, and moreover, unwarranted. Her music incorporates an array of influences, from hints of black metal and ambient music to art-rock, dark-hop, classical music and folk.

These transdisciplinary inclinations are both noticeable compositionally and instrumentally, with song structures rarely adopting an easy to identify progression and a wide variety of instruments being used, not limited to but including guitars, drums, bass, violins, keys and a Cretan lyra. In addition, various electronic beats are frequently implemented simultaneously giving the album an old-school and hyper-modern feel and style. All of these elements are combined with Sofia’s highly unique, serene yet powerful vocals. Her voice has this pristine, soothing yet vulnerable and melancholic quality, ebbing and flowing endlessly, discharging a flurry of emotions, best seen on tracks such as ‘Fire’, ‘Kira Kitana’ and album-highlight ‘Still Universe’. It is this unique voice which forms the backbone of the music itself, dictating tone, mode and musical direction. To certain extent, its obvious qualities defy description and must be experienced first-hand, although I will concede it has its tonal idiosyncrasies and might not be appreciated by everyone to an equal measure. As far as I’m concerned however, the vocals are ultimately this record’s strongest aspect and main appealing quality.

Howbeit, the instrumentation is absolutely nothing to scoff at. The instruments do a perfect job of following along with Sofia’s canorous vocal melodies. This record is littered with exceedingly tasteful string-work, especially on tracks such as the pounding ‘Fire’ and the haunting ‘Ingen Vinner Frem Til Den Evige Roand’, incredibly tasteful piano melodies and these fascinatingly crisp, spacey trip and dark-hop beats. All of these instrumental ingredient are adequately blended together and made to play of each other in order to create the lush soundscapes contained within this album. Although I cannot help but feel that the emotional frame of mind that they convey to the listener isn’t anything concordant to what the album’s title might indicate. Instrumentally, but also vocally, the record but contains hints of the aforementioned euphoria, instead mostly providing a dark, cold mood perpetually simmering with melancholy. As a fan of albums displaying the more darker side of the emotional spectrum I would not consider this to be to the record’s detriment, but I will say anyone looking for a purely upbeat album can be left largely disillusioned by ‘Euphoria’.

Nevertheless, if one takes into account the pristine and appropriately polished production of the album coupled with the aforementioned instrumental variation, emotional depth and complexity along with the excellent vocal performances, one finds oneself with one impressive debut record. Although perhaps slightly too short and perchance not entirely fulfilling its musical potential, to me this record shows Sofia Sarri has tremendous musical capabilities and I cannot wait to see where her musical journey takes her next.

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November 2nd 2019


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