Photo: Danin Jacquay
Messages of heartfelt sincerity delivered through an array of lush, simultaneously nostalgic and futuristic textures. At least, that is the best way I can begin to describe sophie meiers' transfixing left-of-center pop-R&B amalgamation.
The 20-year-old singer, songwriter, artist, poet, graphic designer, philosopher, and cosmic junkie, who also produces under the GUTTERGIRL alias, makes music that finds the common ground between Charli XCX's forward-thinking approach and the wear-my-heart-on-my-sleeve sentimentality of the best bedroom pop artists. Yet, the end product is distinctively meiers' own.
Releasing her debut single, "Don't Be Scared" two short years ago, 2017 welcomed meiers' airy blend of pop and R&B with wide and open arms. The siren's call of a single to this day is meiers' most popular release, sitting comfortably at over 19 million streams on Spotify alone. And more than just a chance moment of success, "Don't Be Scared" stands as evidence to meiers' innate appeal. It is a subtle, straightforward magnetism defined by her ethereal vocals and dreamlike production, the latter of which finds inspiration in both electronic music and lofi hip-hop.
This penchant for multifaceted textural pop-R&B would be a marked trend meiers' forthcoming body of work. Accentuated by the sound of rain hitting the pavement outside a barren café or the fuzzy crackles of a record left to collect dust, there is a distinctive far-off melancholy to much of meiers' pair of 2018 EPs. Broken Clinic and Candle Glow, the EPs in question, demonstrate the up-and-coming artist's promise as a genre-spanning, emotionally-laden talent. Take "Wet Socks," a track that blurs the line between spoken word and pained soul, or better yet, "Sincerely, Yours," a daydream of a song that gives off the vibe of a smoky jazz club in a black and white film.
And while I could go on for ages about the gorgeous hints of soul, jazz, bedroom pop, lofi hip-hop, and R&B that permeated meiers' music circa 2018, what I really want to bring attention to is the handful of singles she dropped earlier this year. The haunting "x-ray vision" exists as a mesmerizing, textured soundscape accentuated by breathy coos and an accompanying music video that evokes comparisons to an Internet-era Bjork.
Setting the stage for what may prove to be a breakout 2020, meiers delivered her most hypnotizing singles to date. The double release, "come ovr" and "skype calls," felt like walking into a Myspace-era pop wonderland that somehow still stood as a delightfully futuristic look at what the genre has to offer. "come over," in particular, with its iridescent bubbling production is a nigh-perfect blend of early 2000s pop-R&B and modern-day anti-pop.
So, what is next for meiers? It's anyone's guess. Although one thing is for certain. If she keeps evolving at this rate and releasing music of this caliber, it is safe to say that sophie meiers is a name we will be seeing and hearing a lot more often.