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  • Writer's pictureCHRIS FARLIE

FESTIVAL PREVIEW: WHO TO SEE AT BUCKLE & BOOTS 2024 - SOPHIE ROSE

BUCKLE & BOOTS 2024 - SOPHIE ROSE

The joy of Buckle & Boots is investigating into the artists that you are less familiar with, those that maybe don't get to play London or the surrounding area often or whose releases have possibly passed us by. The festival provides a day in the sun ( or the tent ) offering a platform for their songs to be heard - some grab it with both hands while others let it slip by. One who we suspect will embrace their chance will be Sophie Rose.


On listening to her "To The Core" EP, the fact that she has kept off our radar seems all the stranger. It has exceedingly high production values. possibly too high for a first foray into the studio, for which we can thank long time #TEAMw21 favourite Danny McMahon who is producer.Sophie hails from the South of England and is based in the Bristol area, her voice though seems to have picked up traits of a number of areas, giving it a unique, at times celtic or gaelic sound.


Diving into the EP brings us to "Healing In The Burn", co written with the aforementioned Mr McMahon - which starts to a strummed acoustic guitar. There is percussion and a piano also in the mix but from the moment the vocal comes in it is Sophie grabbing the attention


"I believe in angels, I believe in what I see in all that's good

What I see in strangers - arranges into melodies and our hearts beat in circles

What goes around will find its way around

What goes down - is going to rise up again"


The chorus when it arrives does go a bit Keane/Coldplay musically, that ever rising backing style you'll be familiar with - what is surprising is how well Sophie's voice sounds backed by that big anthemic sound and how well the lyrics seem to suit it


"Tables turning it's all cause and effect - if you fall down you'll climb higher again

and then you'll figure out you fail and you learn

And if you pause a moment you can start again

Every straight road is followed by a bend

And then you'll figure out - you'll fail and you'll learn

There's always healing in the burn"


The subject matter of being able to come back from whatever life has thrown at you is as inspirational as it is hopeful. During the second verse Sophie opens up about her own personal journey.


"Thought I was caught in darkness- I let someone elses words rewrite me

Called to a higher purpose got taught to pay it forward and now I see??"


A later verse also highlights when things begun to turn around


"I remember that night I was tangled up in thorns

On that cold street corner like a child reborn

I knew in that moment when someone id never met

Reached out a hand so I would never will forget to always pay it forward

Now I wish you nothing but joy"


The latter sections see Sophie applying her own backing vocals to great effect on what is an outstanding track by any standards.


BUCKLE & BOOTS 2024 - SOPHIE ROSE

The second track "Pixies" again picks up on the theme of having a purpose, choices and direction. Instrumentally the mix of guitars power percussion and an organ high in the mix make for a most polished production.


"I don't know where I'm going but I know I'm going there

Cos the road it seems clearer now and it's all pointing there"


Once again the time spent on the backing vocals was time well invested.


Starting in a more acoustic manner is "The Cage" with the sound initially built mainly around Sophie's, guitar, and an annoying electronic drum noise.


"I want to love like I did when I was a little girl

and I want to trust that I can make it through this world"

and I want to breathe in truth

And breathe out the yesterdays and all the pain"


It again builds to be a stirring anthem with the band marshalled excellently by Danny in the production booth.


BUCKLE & BOOTS 2024 - SOPHIE ROSE

The EP's title track "To The Core" has Sophie delivering her lyrics over her acoustic guitar in an almost spoken manner, That opening 90 seconds of just Sophie addressing the listener is powerful intense stuff. When the extra instruments arrive they more sympathetically appear, adding little flourishes here and there rather than going for the bombastic approach allowing Sophie to largely maintain her mainly spoken approach.


The chorus sees Sophie put her heart on her sleeve as she pleads


"If you want to heal at all - I could love you right down to the core

I don't want to live in fear anymore - so will you love me right to the core

I'll love you right down to the core"


The EP closes to "Two For Joy" built around the most overtly country backing on the record.


"It's a race that we've already won

It's a feeling there's something bigger going on

It's in the cards and it's written in the book

It's in the palm of our hands honey

If you're brave enough to look"


BUCKLE & BOOTS 2024 - SOPHIE ROSE

If you like that this EP then you may wish to dive further in the Sophie Rose repertoire with an acoustic EP, only available from her website. Starting with a song we knew, we immediately dived to the acoustic version of "Healing In The Burn". It is perhaps slightly quicker than we thought it would be, but the emotion wrapped up the singing makes it something special - with Sophie veering between a talking style and at times a most effective moving croon, extending the notes with "Proper singing!" in places that is a joy.


In a change of style "Heartbreak Of You", has a distinct blues feel to it, the vocals powerfully performed over a relatively simple guitar line - attention grabbing singing soars and hovers over notes and manages to hold your attention in a vice like grip as you wait for each line to develop.


Speaking with Producer, Danny McMahon about Sophie Rose he said"She’s a wonderful artist and deserves all the success that’s to come her way." and we definitely agree - Sunday afternoon at the Paddock Stage could well be one of the most unique of the weekend - and one of those "I Was there"moments that the festival frequently throws up.


Sophie rose Acoustic EP - Available here https://sophierosemusic.co.uk/album/2830152/acoustics-ep



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