During a year when nu disco dissipated and paved way for outmoded garage and house while offshoots of sound system culture remained stubbornly elitist, it was SOPHIE’s bubbly ‘Bipp’ that had the honour of being the most distinctive sound to have come out of the UK in 2013. A year and a whole catalogue worth of releases by likeminded peers from PC Music later, the still anonymous producer (sorry, it’s a he) finally put out two new tracks; ‘Lemonade’ and its b-side ‘Hard’.
Like his debut single, the former borrows Fade to Mind’s penchant for staccato grime rhythms (with no actual drum noises) and amorphous transitions, then blends it with pure concentrated sugar and ’80s bubblegum pop. The result is a pop permutation so saccharine (living up to its namesake) that it might not quite work for those who are still uninitiated to the sound — whatever it is going to be called, with PC Music’s increasing popularity, we wager it’s going to be a thing in the offing — but then again, the track got Diplo’s seal of approval.
While ‘Lemonade’ is all sped-up glitch and cutesy vocals enunciating succinct, catchy lines, ‘Hard’ sees SOPHIE going hard — his idea of that phrase, at least. Early on there are parts that border on terrible EDM trap, suggesting that the track is going to go what the oft-repeated phrase entails, only to then segue to SOPHIE’s expected appropriation of bubblegum electro. It’s deliciously jarring, and it does get us hard.
Released via Numbers, purchase ‘Lemonade’ and its b-side, ‘Hard’, on iTunes.