- SOPHIE burst out of nowhere earlier this year with the Huntleys & Palmers smash "Nothing More To Say," an irresistible bit of teeth-rotting candy that took the UK house scene by storm. Packed with just the right amount of pop, the formula was simple yet undeniable. It's never easy to follow-up a hit debut, but Bipp / Elle, released on Numbers, might actually be an improvement.
On first glance, there's not a whole lot going on in "Bipp." It barely even has a beat. Instead it's wet and slippery with a flange effect and lands in awkward places, like a bastardized, slowed-down dubstep. But the vocal hogs the attention. Pitched up to chipmunk levels, "Bipp" takes a tired device and revitalizes it through sheer insistence—"I can make you feel better, if you let me," the voice shrieks, twisting and turning around the instrumental. SOPHIE somehow manages to ratchet up the energy without adding much of anything, removing elements for impact rather than building on them.
"Elle" zeros in on rhythmic contortions. With its silvery synths and subaquatic sound palette, it's a not-so-distant cousin to Eprom's excellent Metahuman album. What it lacks in originality it makes up for in sheer boldness. It would be easy for SOPHIE to continue down the road of straightforward house bangers, but the follow-up shows that he's got other tricks up his sleeve.