OIL OF EVERY PEARL'S UN-INSIDES is the debut album from SOPHIE, setting out to and very much achieving what many others in her place have failed to do: making pop music that sits perfectly on the radar of nationwide mainstream radio appeal yet turns it on its head by smuggling in some very rubbery and experimental latex clad ideas of what makes commercial pop music something for people to fetishise to the nth degree.
At this point SOPHIE's under and overground dominance is pretty much untouchable really, she has worked with everyone from Diplo to Madonna and was scouted for Jay-Z's talent agency Roc Nation. Yet she also cites Autechre as heroes and is mates with Glasgow's Numbers crew. What other artists can you really name who can easily move in both circles? Until Madonna swings by Rubadub to score some techno wax the next time she plays in Glasgow we'd say pretty much no one.
While the album is loaded up with tracks like 'It's Okay to Cry' and 'Immaterial' aka peak time tear jerkers primed for white-label/YouTube house remixes aplenty, what makes OIL OF EVERY PEARL'S UN-INSIDES so dazzling is the way it's followed up by tracks like Ponyboy which features sound design akin to Autechre jamming with DJ Screw at 45 rpm. While the likes of Faceshopping are sure to give users the same sugar hit as Lemonade, yet here the digital bubbles that rise to the surface burst to reveal a sticky coating of electronica oil. Then there are the filtered drones of Pretending, which could soundtrack the bad dreams of Abul Mogard. Covering so much scope in just nine tracks is an exceptional feat and should be seen as such, this is the sort of album we can see bursting some preconceptions and made up minds on what makes SOPHIE's music such an addictive pill to swallow.
While it's a very dividing record its strength is in its confidence to take traditional pop music to the outer edges and then some, and while you may not like all of it. It's a damn site more boundary pushing than the million and one bedroom producers knocking out dusty house and techno trax each week.