Sophie, Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides (Transgressive Records) –
The private summer release of the Scottish transgender dance producer Sophie’s debut album was followed Dec. 21 by a broader U.S. release, hopefully spawning a wider audience for an ambitious EDM masterpiece. The pop polish she applied in producing artists like Charli XCX is obvious here, but so is a brilliant and world-weary wisdom.
Chvrches, Hansa Session EP (Liberator Music) –
Kudos to UK trio Chvrches for releasing an acoustic five-track spin on songs from 2018’s Love Is Dead
. Vocalist Lauren Mayberry wanted to distill the band’s sound while making it more accessible, but the results on the full-length album were less than optimal. Here, tracks like “Graffiti” and “Get Out” prove that Chvrches can steer in acoustic directions and remain as powerful as their early electronic works.