A commentary on Oil Of Every Pearl’s Un-Sides by SOPHIE

Coming from the rhapsodical squelching of Product, a compilation album pushing the avant-garde edges of pop music, to the aquatic, otherworldly shimmer of Oil Of Every Pearl’s Un-Sides perfects the organized freneticism of SOPHIE’s signature sound. Rumours of her brother Ben Long producing a posthumous release have amounted mostly to hearsay, though there’s reportedly hundreds of unfinished SOPHIE tracks ready for any other on-brand producer to maim or make magnificent. But, if all hyperpop aficionados are privy to is the rippling soundscapes of Oil Of…, the SOPHIE legacy at least remains a beautiful approximation of her voice, aesthetics and curiously, the shape of water.

The record crashes and waves like the rolling of the ocean, in all its natural glory. Unlike the natural, SOPHIE’s voice is twisted, distorted into varying shapes and colours, inserted here and there in precision tandem to every audio detail – an exercise in contrast. “Ponyboy” attacks the four-to-the-floor dance squelches, while “Faceshopping” lurches in industrial beats and reverie. A punchier version of the now retired Jpop vet Namie Amuro’s “B Who I Want 2” is found in “Pretending,” the closest we get to a cookie cutter hyperpop song, paradoxical phrasing aside. The wide landscape of “Is It Cold in the Water?” serves as prismatic reprieve to the heavier front half of Oil Of…, and “Whole New World / Pretending” is a ten-minute opus on swooshes and lasers, bringing us up from the water into the air.

More interestingly, the pervading thought I have about Oil Of… is it’s subconscious reference to the ocean. I’m more convinced that my recent delves into subaquatic media is colouring my filters. Yann Martel’s Life of Pi sits on my bookshelf, a prophet on his mountaintop, recently read and cognizant of its affectations; Herman Melville’s Moby Dick and Nick Cutter’s The Deep wait in the wings, to be swallowed up in the greedy depths of my imagination. It might also be that I’ve clocked in 40 hours careening in Unknown Worlds Entertainment’s Subnautica. But the ocean is calling me to, in every book, every film, every song I listen to – the reasoning for these conversations with the seas eludes me, but I’m hearing them in SOPHIE. The depths of the ocean roll in the sonic details, mechanical and synthesized but dripping in cosmic magnificence, but the oil rises top of mind.

Additional reading:

“A commentary of Final Fantasy XII’s Ashe” for Windhill Journal

“A commentary on Black (Dolby Atmos Music) by Britney Spears” for Windhill Journal

“A commentary on Versace Resort SS2023” for Windhill Journal

One response to “A commentary on Oil Of Every Pearl’s Un-Sides by SOPHIE”

  1. Immaterial girl
    Immaterial boy!!
    YASS 👸


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