“Neat vibes! Catchy rhythms and great instrumental progressions throughout the track!” Black Raven
“Powerful performance and a great vibe” Secret Eclectic
“Sassy vocal and killer guitar riffs” Playlist Boutique
“Vocals are awesome, love the guitar tones” Ben Clapton
Sofia Palm’s second single ‘Hella Stella’ is the mid-point in a trilogy of planned releases on MoonMan Recordings.
Building on the success of her debut, Raccoona, Hella Stella opens up like a wildcat then stalks into the first verse with playful vocals purring over growling guitar riffs and a heavy kick beat.
The production has an epic, industrial sound; as if Shirley Manson had formed her own Rhythm Nation, and the accompanying promo clip sees Sofia dancing through a deserted urban landscape impervious to the grey skies and torrential downpour of rain.
For fans of Raccoona, once again there are the kooky lyrics Sofia has made into something of a trademark: ‘Chin chin, chinchilla…. on our way to dinner’ as the music is stripped bare to just the drumsticks before launching into the final chorus with a cry of ‘I want a gin and tonic!’
If Raccoona gave us playful insouciance, Hella Stella brings the edge: raw and real, there’s urgent power in the vocals and yet there’s still a sense of cool restraint.
A self-taught musician, singer and songwriter, Sofia describes herself as shy growing up.
Her songwriting idols include David Bowie and Queen, but she admires their apparent insouciance as much as their gift for epic narratives and bombastic stage craft – in fact this attraction to DIY ethics and aesthetics is woven through every aspect of Sofia, the Artist and the person, from her music to her hand-drawn tattoos.
Pumping out of the speakers in a basement bar, or ringing across a city square, Hella Stella is here, play it loud.
‘My friend described me as having a can-do attitude yesterday and that resonated.’
We meet at her place near Bethnal Green to talk about her first single Racoona. Sitting outside surrounded by her plants and sipping a delicious oat milk coffee, she tells me not to mind the 2 wrought iron chairs I’d assumed were artfully decorating the space – in fact, she was using them as a loom for one of the many crafting projects she takes on for fun and relaxation. A self-taught musician, singer and songwriter, Sofia describes herself as shy growing up. I ask if she was concerned about fitting in and she surprises me with her sincerity. ‘Yes’ she says ‘Of course. . . …But I had this little sense that I would grow into myself, that there was more out there, and I didn’t feel a strong need to change myself… It was more like waiting it out until I had my turn.’ She joined the school choir and, although performing still felt challenging at that time, music became a release and an escape. ‘I felt more content observing from the sidelines, and I think that became part of my songwriting process.’ Her songwriting idols include David Bowie and Queen, but she admires their apparent insouciance as much as their gift for epic narratives and bombastic stage craft – in fact this attraction to DIY ethics and aesthetics is woven through every aspect of Sofia, the Artist and the person, from her music to her hand-drawn tattoos. Racoona explodes out of the speakers with a ferocious 8th note groove beating the drums hard in double time and you won’t catch a breath before a punk guitar screams in the background and the nonchalant, funky bass line counters the melody. There’s a hint of Patti Smith and Blondie’s Debbie Harry in the vocals, and Sofia nods when I ask if these Artists were inspirational to her, but the lyrics add another tangent, including genius lines like ‘You always wanna pop when you’re off your rock, And you always wanna hop off everyones stop, You really wanna roll when it ain’t that steep, Then you fall to your feet into defeat’
Inspired by someone she met on a night out (and observing her dog on a walk), written on a Eurostar ticket waiting for the keys to an AirBnB in Paris, Racoona exists in a time and place which is real but not fixed, it’s original pop-punk and a musical gateway drug…. and it’s exactly what we need to hear.
Earlier this week the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak suggested that creatives such as musicians who had seen income dry up during COVID-19 should consider retraining for the new ‘opportunities’ the lockdown economy is generating. The principle makes sense from an economic perspective, but it is just that – an economist’s solution to a cultural […]