forestpunk

A Journal Of The Dark Arts

Sophie Cooper – Our Aquarius (Wild Silence)

Sophie Cooper - Our Aquarius coverIf you spend any time here at Forestpunk, you will know that we are complete and unabashed Anglophiles, despite never having set foot on Albion. Everything that we know of its rolling hillsides, its cobwebbed mornings, has come from Art.

Our Aquarius, the newest offering from West Yorkshire’s Sophie Cooper, is like having some spectral cob cabin materialize amidst yr living room. The door creaks open, the light spills out – there is an enchanting sound pulling you in. Once inside, Cooper whispers her confessionals in yr ear, while phantom shapes murmur in the corner, and archangels flame with stained glass shadows.

 

 

Our Aquarius is built around a backbone of delicate, fingerpicked guitar lines and Cooper’s contralto vocals, which are then swarmed with colorful swells of feedback, disembodied field recordings, and “these weird drums I got in Indonesia.” It’s a homemade, cobbled-together affair, but never ragged. Our Aquarius is the first time she recorded without her trusty four-track, running straight into the infernal digital engine, but she didn’t lose herself in the infinite possibilities of digital recording. Instead, she makes technology serve her creative vision.

Sophie Cooper has cited everyone from Bert Jansch and John Renbourn to Riot Grrl to Arthur Russell as influences, to give you an idea of what an epoch hopping endeavor this is. It makes my heart sing in gladness, as i adore magickal British folk music to the depths of my soul, but so often it’s practitioners, and especially nowadays, are such cheezy throwbacks in poofy sleeves and flowy gowns, it becomes like a Renaissance Faire. I have no problem with anachronistic music, obviously, but it seems to place magick in the remote past, with no room in the harsh clear light of the modern world. Which is sadly pretty true, but we’re trying to change that.

Instead, Sophie Cooper calls the elementals with a coven of cheap guitar pedals and tortured amps. IPhones are used as a talking board, pulling dead voices from the aether.

Our Aquarius seems an intimate and honest document, down to the hand-drawn artwork (which is great), to the limited edition CDR format, but it’s still executed with high production values and an exacting creative vision. She’s been gaining momentum in the past 3 years, with releases on high profile labels (to us, anyway) like Exotic Pylon and Blackest Rainbow. As ambient ethereal sonic alchemists like Grouper, Julianna Barwick, Holly Herndon, etc. are finally being given the attention they deserve, the powder keg is primed to take Cooper beyond the cloistered world of lush gardens, rolling hillsides, and seaside holidays, on to distant shores.

This is a perfect accompaniment to the fireworks of autumn trees, for velvet breezes and fireside chats. Put this on, and watch the sun fade, and transplant some magick into yr life.

Very much highly recommended!

Sophie Cooper Music
@sofingusa
Wild Silence home
Wild Silence FB

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10 comments on “Sophie Cooper – Our Aquarius (Wild Silence)

  1. 1537
    October 7, 2014

    I’m a Portland-ophile – thanks for Poison Idea and Aviation Gin!

    • forestpunk
      October 7, 2014

      Aviatian Gin? I can’t say i know them, yet. I do think something of the mist and the clouds get transmitted through the music from here. We gave you Grouper, Yellow Swans, and early Elliott Smith, as well.

      • 1537
        October 7, 2014

        Sorry, not a band – it’s actual real gin!

  2. sofingusa
    October 7, 2014

    Thank you so much Aquarius friend! I’m such England’s people would welcome you with a cup of tea when you finally get to visit.

    • forestpunk
      October 7, 2014

      it shall happen. It’s almost weird, how most of my good friends are all British, now. I”ve got so many solid, meaningful connections with people from the UK. I just feel like the things that i am into are more appreciated there, although i realize it’s a small percentile, very much the underground minority, and there’s things that i would hate about the UK, as well. I have British blood in me, and i feel like my blood wants to return to it’s roots. On one hand, you’ve got extreme futurism, and on the other, you’ve got history and tradition. I”m interested in both. Thanks for the beautiful record! I’ve listened to it a ton, and had a number of moving, picturesque moments while listening.

  3. unsubscriber
    October 7, 2014

    Excellent piece of writing that has my interest well and truly piqued. I’ll be hunting this down as soon as possible. Consider yourself a Brit by proxy and if you ever visit, I’ll have the kettle on. Keep working my friend.

    • forestpunk
      October 8, 2014

      thanks mate! i really enjoyed this record, as well as the process of finding words for it. I feel like, lately, i’ve been rediscovering the joy of writing about music, getting back to the initial inspiration. Still going strong, after all these years! If you end up in the pacific northwest, i’ll bring you some donuts and some strong black coffee!

      • unsubscriber
        October 8, 2014

        I might just take you up on that offer, you had me at donuts! Keep on writing – it makes life that much more interesting. All the best.

  4. sofingusa
    October 10, 2014

    It is very well written I agree with the last guy. THANKS!!

    • forestpunk
      October 10, 2014

      Thank you! So is the record! Good music inspires good writing (that’s the general premise, anyway).

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