Halfway between the arcane and the brutalist, Sophia Bel’s musical aesthetics are truly and delightfully unsettling, like a cold shower that would also have acquired the comforting properties of a warm blanket. Coming up with hooks and melodies as if they had been read straight from the palm of her hand, Montreal’s adoptive daughter dabbles skillfully with electro-pop and trip-hop productions, injecting each and every one of them with the same candor and irresistible melancholy she got us used to.
Born in Quebec City and raised on the crest of the early-2000’s skate-punk and emo wave, the singer-songwriter first came to prominence in 2016 as a contester on Quebec’s hit TV show La Voix, quickly garnering attention throughout the province. Following her stint on the show, the artist spent the next two years releasing a series of singles before eventually hitting the studio for the production of a first EP. Drawing inspiration from the blurry outlines of her own childhood, the young woman decided to take a hard look at all those questions left unanswered, positionning herself as both the observer and the protagonist of this yet-to-be- finished novel.
Entitled Princess of the Dead, this first EP also tackles the painful traumas of an adolescence spent on the outskirts of social conventions, as the record’s title references the nickname given to her years ago by high school bullies looking for an easy target. Determined to reappropriate this ghoulish moniker that had once been forced upon her, the musician manages to cast out her inner demons with the grace and maturity of a woman poised not to let others dictate the terms of her own identity.