Sofie Zamchick has a characterizable innocence to her sound. It's amplified throughout every track we've heard from her this year, and especially so in "Look at You". It's fruitful and filled with a vitality that's so addicting to listen to! Sofie Zamchick has always been able to consistently release songs that capture a specific environment for listeners. In "Look at You" it's a heart-broken, yet confident approach. When progressing to tracks like "I'll Give You Away", we receive more of a reminiscent feel, filled with perishing and hardship. Sofie Zamchick is good at imparting such despairing and intense emotions into her listeners with the stories she's wanting to communicate.
"electric Palms" is more of a tropical production, featuring soundings from the xylophone which shapes the overall foundational sound of the song. "electric Palms" is more of an intriguing song, especially regarding the embedded lyricism on Sofie Zamchick's end. Most of Sofie's songs are incredibly interesting from a lyrical standpoint. Taking the time to look past the catchy melody, we listen to the lyrics and feel the perspective of Sofie Zamchick. She walks listeners through her most frustrating emotions, which allows for that pivotal connection between artist and listener. Overall, Sofie's 2019 was filled with tracks that highlight her distinctive sound, un-diverging of that intricate sounding.
Welcome, Sofie Zamchick! We appreciate the time. Let's get right into your 2019 sound, and how you felt about the way your tracks executed! Were you happy with the way your vision displayed itself throughout the year?
Yes! 2019 has been magical. My first single "electric palms" struck a chord with NPR and I was invited to open for Quinn Christopherson on the Tiny Desk "On the Road" tour in Brooklyn. I was described as a "ferocious bluebird" by WFUV, which felt pretty fitting :) But there was one moment in particular that meant more to me than any positive feedback or opportunity. When my EP "until we meet" was released at midnight on August 9th, I listened to it straight through and got crazy emotional. Not out of relief or pride, but because of the story itself. All the moments that inspired each song - they were crystal clear and I felt all the feelings that led me to write the songs in the first place. That's when I knew I had succeeded in my vision.
We grew such a liking to "electric palms". Where did the emotion come from in order to stem the lyricism that made up the track?
Thanks so much! I wrote "electric palms" the year after I graduated from NYU, when I was very much living in a liminal, in-between space. Subletting a friend's small room in Williamsburg for two months, all I had was one suitcase and her keyboard. When I realized the keyboard had a marimba setting, I held out just four fingers in a "rock on" hand gesture (as makeshift mallets). I quickly came up with that opening marimba hook, which brought me back to the winter of 2014, when I danced with someone I loved for the first time. The song was R. Kelly's "Ignition (Remix)" and we were both super awkward with this kind of intimacy, but also desperately wanting to go there with one another. The lyrics of the verses describe that moment. The chorus goes back to the spark of the first time we held hands and quite literally went "running through the city." The lyricism came easily when I returned to those memories and remembered the calmness and omnipresence that drew me to my partner.
As a singer/songwriter based in New York, how do you feel the music scene there aids in the cultivation of your exclusive sound?
I love that music is so deeply stitched into the fabric of NYC - on the streets, subway, in clubs, on Broadway. I've pulled all-nighters singing with friends out and about, sang a cappella in Washington Square Park, and played at many local venues. Hints of New York creep into my songs: holding hands in Bedstuy in "electric palms," cruising down Avenue B in "wake me up," and rooftop dates by Tompkin's Square in "Man on the Moon" (an unreleased song).
Once the release of your debut EP "until we meet" hit, how did you feel your sound was communicated to listeners? What was the response you received from the release?
Lloyd and I worked hard to keep the VibeKAT sound at the heart of the recordings. The key was never to lose the playful honesty and simplicity that marimba/vibraphone provides as a complement to my voice. I write the music and lyrics simultaneously, and keeping that relationship intact is central to my sound. The response to the release has been thrilling. The EP got some initial play on WFUV and a steady climb of downloads. Next step is to leverage the songs with industry people, keep playing live shows, and, of course, let new music drop. My next single “Chemistry,” a fun, romantic bop is up next!
Let's talk about "wake me up"! Where did you manifest the energy needed for this particular track during recording?!
I wrote "wake me up" in one night, faster than most songs I've written. I think it flew out because it was a song I needed to write in order to heal from a past relationship. Bringing it to my producer Lloyd Kikoler was exciting - The verses have an ethereal quality with lots of empty space, while the choruses are gritty, messy, and a bit chaotic. Lloyd and I searched for the right textures, sounds, and filters to bring these juxtaposed sections to life. Recording vocals is probably my favorite thing to do, and once all the sounds felt right, the energy just erupted.
Thanks, Sofie for talking with us about your 2019 sound! Can listeners expect any sound changes within the year to come?
The six songs I've released so far are just scratching the surface of my sound, because I have about 50 other finished songs I'm ready (and dying) to record. I'm opening the year with a performance at one of my favorite NYC venues, Rockwood Music Hall, on January 3rd with three new songs in my set. These songs came from a burst of end-of-year creativity, all started sometime within the last three years but completed in the same day. I just worked out the arrangements for my band, and at our first rehearsal, my bandmates picked up on a new energy in the songs and ran with it. My goal is to keep surprising myself, maintaining what's core and exploring new ground.