Remembering SOPHIE's Legacy

Over the past few weeks, our team has been remembering SOPHIE's legacy by revisiting the musician's discography. Whether solo music or production work, SOPHIE's music so profoundly shaped everything we listen to. Here are a few of our favorite essential SOPHIE songs.

SOPHIE It's okay to cry music video

Immaterial” by SOPHIE

The first time I listened to “Immaterial” by SOPHIE, I was hooked. A maximalist fantasy like no other, the song is part club banger and part philosophic imagination of a new world, where anyone can be whoever and whatever they want. “Immaterial” is the entrance for many to SOPHIE’s synthetic saccharine pop world, myself included. To many, SOPHIE’s music can be a little tough to swallow, but “Immaterial” dares the listener to fall in love. Cecile Believe’s vocals add an otherworldly touch to an already fantastical track. In the bridge, Believe’s voice becomes increasingly warped as she sings: “And no matter where I go, you'll always be here in my heart, here in my heart, here in my heart, I don't even have to explain, Just leave me alone now, I can't be held down, I can't be held down.” It warms the heart to picture Believe and SOPHIE in the studio together, writing and recording these lyrics that would keep SOPHIE’s legacy alive.

– Allison Harris

Hot Pink” by Let’s Eat Grandma, produced by SOPHIE

When “Hot Pink” came out in 2018, I didn’t really know how to process it. I had never heard anything like it before — it was so abrasive, so metallic, so demanding. It contrasted so heavily against the indie rock I was used to listening to, yet I loved it.

“Hot Pink” would become my first foray into the hyperpop sphere. The track has always been a staple of my playlists, accompanying me on car rides and soundtracking solo raves in my room. Yet somehow, after all these years, I didn’t realize it was produced by SOPHIE until a few weeks ago. How couldn’t I have noticed? SOPHIE's sound is so apparent in everything the artist produced. Even when working with artists like Let’s Eat Grandma, whose previous tracks were far removed from what would be considered hyperpop, SOPHIE was always able to synchronize styles of music in such an incredible way.

— Amelia Zollner

Vroom Vroom” by Charli XCX, produced by SOPHIE

One of my first entrances into hyperpop was the track “Vroom Vroom” off of Charli XCX’s EP of the same name. I was at a house party dancing with my friends, and it was far too late. We were exhausted, but as soon as the opening “Let’s ride” blared through the speakers, everyone was thrashing and bouncing around. SOPHIE’s work commands attention at its base state, but “Vroom Vroom” just goes so astronomically, monumentally hard with its harsh, hypnotic beats and squeaky synths — it had me in a musical headlock that I couldn’t escape from even if I wanted to.

There’s an undeniable sense of confidence that can be felt throughout everything SOPHIE worked on, and this track is no exception to that either. It’s completely unapologetic — it’s infectious. Listening to this song feels like driving at night, going 15 over on the highway with your windows down and friends in the back, even if you’re just sitting alone in your room. SOPHIE was able to create realities through music, making you experience and feel things that you never have before.

– Zoe Axelrod

Faceshopping” by SOPHIE

As a relative noob venturing into the sweepingly vast hyperpop scene, I quickly latched onto Charli XCX as a safety blanket. My introductory allure was “pink diamond”, but as soon as how i’m feeling now was eaten up with minimal crumbs left to dot my newly lustrous plate, I began to grow ravenous. I sought further and deeper to satiate the growing desire I had for mining far into the hyperpop vein. I’d soon reach the origin of Eden for the genre and the producer that served to sink my claws into the genre.

Upon listening to “Faceshopping” for that very first time, having added it to curiously stumble upon in my playlist, I was awash with entrancement. Never before had I been so hypnotized. SOPHIE’s excellence was apparent. Soon I fell into Charli’s own Vroom Vroom EP, with production by SOPHIE. Once again, just like the first, I was floating… again.

I don’t believe anyone could ever do justice to SOPHIE's grace or radiance. Even the gazes SOPHIE cut into existence are to remain unmatched. While my journey listening to this body of work still has many more steps to account for, I know that SOPHIE will forever be synonymous with the wayward stars dressing the night skies above. To me, and my greater understanding of all things within my identity, I owe SOPHIE the earth the artist so rightfully deserves.

– Dylan Robinson

When I Rule The World” by LIZ, produced by SOPHIE

SOPHIE was one of a kind, unmistakable. You hear SOPHIE's songs once, you'll never be able to attach SOPHIE's sound to anybody else. Which is why it shouldn't have come as a surprise to anyone who's heard before that this one of a kind producer produced LIZ's bubbly, saccharine-sweet, sadistic breakout hit “When I Rule The World."

It's funny. My friend and I, both self-proclaimed SOPHIE diehards, stumbled across the song after they found it on Spotify's hyperpop playlist. Both of us remarked, “Wow, this sounds like PRODUCT-era SOPHIE!” One Google search later, yep, there it is: the song came out in 2015, which is close to the era PRODUCT was being produced and released as singles, and was produced by none other than SOPHIE. Immediate facepalm: “How did neither of us catch that?”

The song itself is classic: addictive, flashy unison saws flash across the senses during the chorus, countered by minimal verses. SOPHIE's blend of 2000s electropop and cutting edge sound design meld together perfectly with LIZ's sassy, princess-esque tone, yielding a song that's damn near impossible to put down — tooth-rottingly sweet, with a razor hidden inside. It was the kind of thing that, before SOPHIE emerged, no one dared to attempt. Edgier, more daring artists in pop were shunned — breaking the mold was taboo. But some people saw the magic: SOPHIE exploded in the years following as people began to think more abstractly about pop music, about what it means to be a producer, about identity. SOPHIE's voice opened doors for thousands of producers from marginalized backgrounds to tell their stories, freely, unabashedly — and nothing's been the same since. SOPHIE changed everything; there will never be another.

– Canary Autumn

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