Their Lonely Betters: SoKo is SoKool
Its summative season and SoKo is the perfect companion for those lonely, mellow study times. Listening to SoKo is reminiscent of being read a story before bedtime; all the lyrics seem to coalesce in a surreal dream-like fashion that somehow captures the essence of her subject. Her songs give such accurate and frank commentary on life it almost feels like intruding on a dead man’s diary.
SoKo, a French singer and actress, first hit it big with her single ‘I’ll Kill Her,’ a classic for any jealous ex-girlfriend. In 2009 she took a hiatus from music stating she was ‘dead’ and that the music industry scared her. She’s back now though and better than ever. It’s interesting to think what a culmination her album is, how long it took to make and prepare. I Thought I Was an Alien was released just this past February 20th and it has been anything but a disappointment for her waiting fans. Though at times SoKo’s whispering vulnerability can seem affected, these awkward moments are rare compared to the rest of the album’s emotionally vibrant nature.
Her first song, ‘I Just Want To Make It New With You’, with her droll delivery and interpretive sounds, is surprisingly reminiscent of an Audrey Hepburn Funny Face dance tune. While the cracking vocals in ‘Treat Your Woman Right’ fill the room with a gloomy and haunting vision akin to listening to CocoRosie, she picks the mood right back up with ‘You Have A Power Over Me’, which has a racing, light melody like a Kanine Krunchies advertisement and captures the anxious, breathless, innocent, and uncontrollable forces of attraction. Throughout the album, Sokolinski’s drawling voice harkens back to a Moldy Peaches droll delivery.
Though the album is predominantly melancholic, it’s the quirky sunny bits that really win me over. When ‘People Always Look Better In The Sun’ managed to morph from a morose commentary to a mellow, smile-inducing melody, I knew SoKo was inevitably going to end up a part of my is-that-an-essay?-playlist. And, I can honestly say that it was ‘First Love Never Dies’, perhaps her most pop-sensible song, that struck the strongest chord in me. The Belle and Sebastian-esque composition perfectly expressed the overwhelming attrition for mistakes made, the stubborn and naïve belief that there could be nothing else, and the hopeless and irrepressible nostalgia for your first love.
SoKo is currently touring Europe having just finished a number of shows in England. It’s good to see her getting back out there and making something of her talent, I only hope she continues to do so; who else will be my summative lullaby?
It’s that time of year again, when essays and sunshine come out to play for your affection. To be a Durham graduate or not to be, these early spring days seem to beg of us. Whether you’re in the library, or soaking up sun and knowledge in the garden here are a few cheery songs:
- Sweet Pea- Amos Lee
- Postcards From Italy- Beirut
- Lust for Life- Girls
- Southern California Bliss- Simple Green
- Say Hey (I Love You)- Michael Franti & Spearhead
- July- Natty
- 5 Years Time- Noah and the Whale
- Bam Bam- King Charles
- You and the New World- Treefight for Sunlight
- French Navy- Camera Obscura
- Someone Just Like You- Beni
- Awkward- San Cisco
- You Yes You- Tune-Yards
- There She Goes- The La’s
- Fast Car- Tracy Chapman
For some more jazzy or leisure listening:
- When You’re Smiling- Billie Holiday
- (Getting Some) Fun Out of Life- Madeleine Peyroux
- I’ll Be Here in the Morning- Townes Van Zandt
- J’m’en fous pas mal- Edith Piaf
- Waves- Stokes, William
Click this link to listen to the summertive playlist on Spotify!
List Image Credit: Saga Sig