What happens when a talented artist leaves the city to spend a few years in South Georgian Bay? They get inspired to write a killer breakthrough album, that’s what.
This is exactly how Sophia Eleftheria realized her latest EP Energy, an impressive first effort from a musician who harnesses a delicate, agile voice and flexes some serious song writing muscle. Think Grey County’s Amy Winehouse.
Having grown up in Toronto, it was the years spent working at her mother’s restaurant, Franny’s Mercato, in Meaford where Eleftheria taught herself to play piano and guitar and write her own songs. When she returned to Toronto, she felt inspired to start writing songs for this new EP, and with the help of friend/producer Chris Gerty, has released as a six-track exploration into relationships and the power of maintaining a positive mindset.
The album is a cool, confident collection of R&B tunes from a young songwriter who has enough to say about navigating heartbreak and entering adulthood. The album doesn’t pull any punches: “Fuck you and you rich little friends” she confidently, elegantly sings on the Adele inspired Reality. “You hurt me/ That’s not what love is.”
She opens the EP with the bluesy self-titled track about losing her energy and feeling disrespected: “All I do require from you/ Is a desire/ To be the best you can for me/ your efforts are half-assed baby/ And you know it/ I’m not stupid.”
Phases is an exercise in opening oneself up to love. “Changed my attitude into gratitude/ Creating all this space to love you” she declares confidently before the refrain “Season changing/ changing phases.” She’s even self-assured when she lays her vulnerabilities on the table in the beautiful melodies of Body and Spirit. She’s owning her fears here. “I’m going to be alone again/ don’t know if I can handle it” she warns. We get a glimpse into a journal entry on a soon-to-be long-distance relationship she already has doubts about. The question of whether to uproot our lives for someone is an archetypal one. “I didn’t realize the mess we were in/ but we made it through before/ can we do it again?” she wonders.
6am has a dreamy Lana Del Ray vibe with raw lyrics about being drunk in a subway station at 6am, the liminal time between a night coming to an end and a new day beginning. In this case, “there won’t be anything worth remembering” she sings hauntingly.
i ain’t comin back closes the effort out with a Winehouse-inspired struggle about a bad relationship that she just can’t walk away from. “Got a line up at my door/ I wish you wanted me more/ But you don’t have the time to spare.” It’s that familiar game that we all get caught up in and most of us lose at. “Oh I hope you know that you lost in this game/ I can’t tell you how to play,” she sings before reminding them “We both know you want me back/ But the last time we spoke I told you/ I ain’t coming back.”
But this is an album that you will keep coming back to, for all the right reasons. It’s faithful in its R&B delivery, devoted to relatable themes, and attentive to beautiful melodic hooks that many good listening relationships are made of.
Words Jesse Wilkinson
Photos provided by artist