reviewed by Kaitlin Ruether
Describing their sound as “suburban R&B” and “organic trip-hop”, The Sophistocrats are a Nelson-based band centred around the songwriting of Sophie Moreau Parent. These tracks swing through the territory of melancholy and growth, moving and sliding with clean guitar riffs and smooth beats.
“Good Intentions” opens with atmosphere and catchy hooks, enough to draw you into the world that is Together. The Sophistocrats play heavy on the organic aspect of their genre, not leaning on synths but instead excelling at the guitar hooks and rhythms. The MVP on “Never Enough” is drummer Aybars Savat who brings the R&B, but there’s also a power when Moreau Parent breaks with “it’s never good enough” with an emotion that is raw and transparent.
There’s a sinister undertone to “Silent”, which has the vocals moving into haunting terrain as the lyrics dip into the human tendency to not speak out when we know something terrible is happening — a relevant concept in the post- Me Too world of today. Killing it with a beautiful harmony between the keys and the guitar in the opening of “Broken Record”, the song cracks open with a story of love gone awry. True to its name, the melody falls into repetitions that are both thematic and smooth.
It’s hard to pin down the genre for music like that made by The Sophistocrats, but with the drums working as a driving force and the guitar on smooth riff duty, Sophie Moreau Parent has effectively created a balance that glides into a new territory. If you couldn’t picture what suburban R&B or organic trip-hop were before, you know now.
Top Track: “Never Enough”
Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good)