California native Sofia Wolfson’s new EP Side Effects, released today Friday November 3rd, is constructed around a personal narrative that remains wide open for us to relate to. It’s a melancholy and suave version of events, ending on a note of resolution but also one of faint uncertainty about what comes next in the emotional net cast by the author. Stylistically, Sofia has been described as a folk- pop artist, which is a bit of an umbrella term- on a more intimate level, her work is defined more by the latter than it is by the former. It’s a contemporary approach to ideas that have been regurgitated from genre to genre for decades. Sofia is not introducing, but watching and learning- and we’re invited to do so alongside her.
All three songs on the EP address the infamous ‘you’; the invisible, the other that moves the inner dialogue to action and reflection. Starting with “Capsule,” an innocuous enough entrance of muted chords and soft vocals, Sofia sets the scene, citing cold sheets and a doctor’s advice. The message is pretty explicit in that it doesn’t leave much to be implied, but the simplicity works poetically, in tandem with the uncomplicated instrumentals in a single, unfettered direction. “Snake Eyes,” with a piano track from Lee Pardini, follows the capsule we kept down and sees it manifest- the song deals with blame confidently, confrontationally and with awareness, while maintaining the little bit of natural doubt that mars or crystallizes any emotional experience, depending on how you look at it. “Write It Down” continues toying with the same ideas, creating an ambiance that does a great job bringing the album to a close without totally finalizing the narrative.
Sofia’s exploration of symptoms, medicine, and side effects runs parallel to a period of emotional insecurity and its idiosyncrasies. I’m curious to see how far forward her next collection of work will move and whether it will be a dweller or a dreamer. Be sure to keep an eye out for her on the East Coast circuit this year!