Beautiful Dreamer


Wearing a cartoon T-shirt, drinking copious amounts of fresh mint, honey, and lemon tea (she’s losing her voice), and refusing to shake hands („sorry, I’m a hugger“), Soko is anything but what one might expect of a runaway teen turned César-nominated actress and self-taught musician. Following her critically-acclaimed 2012 debut album, I Thought I Was An Alien, which was applauded for its hauntingly sad melodies and confessional lyrics, she is now on the cusp of releasing her second album entitled My Dreams Dictate My Reality, produced by the multi-plantinum record-winning, Ross Robinson [The Cure, Klaxons]. Strong and warm, yet undeniably vulnerable in a way that makes you want to listen to what she has to say, one gets the sense that the Soko we meet today is a much calmer and happier person than the one in the years gone by.

„My Dad died when I was five, which really crushed my entire childhood,“ she explains as we sit down. „I was immediately projected into a world that was way too violent and that made me grow up and be an adult right away. With this record, I needed to go way back to my childhood and remember what made me who I am. A lot of it is about mortality, but in a way that feels more hopeful than morbid. I grew up with this fear that I had killed my Dad in my dreams, but a lot of my new songs are about deciding to have better dreams. As much as I have felt tormented, I feel like I want to come to terms with all of these troubles and leave them behind. The first song on the album is called I Come In Peace and I feel like this is a good message to start and present my second album with.“

Not only content with confronting the demons of her past, and some of her present (read the song Peter Pan Syndrome), the entire way the Bordeaux-born, Los Angeles-based musician approached writing My Dreams Dictate My Reality was different than her debut. „I used to write a lot on acoustic guitar, but it felt so thin,“ she recalls. „For this album I felt like I needed to be surrounded by big sounds, so I wrote most of the songs on bass. Hearing just the rhythm makes me feel like I can hear all of the arrangements before I’ve even written them.“

Also noticeably absent since her debut album are her locks, which once long and brown, are now short, spiky, and blonde. „I have people complaining, ‚bring back the brunette,’“ she laughs, „but my hair was so long before. I needed to cut it and move on. The weight of such dark hair was so heavy, and I’d just finished filming the French film Augustine [the aforementioned César-nominated role in which she plays a patient paralyzed with hysteria], which was so intense. I really felt like cutting my hair off was turning the page.“

Since the new album is still under lock and key with a final release date yet to be decided, you’ll have to trust us that it will be well-worth the wait. In the meantime, we can only tell you that the first song you’ll hear from it—any day now—is called Who Wears The Pants and that its accompanying visuals were shot and directed by Soko herself on a „crazy RCA VHS camera from the 1980’s.“ Stay tuned to CR for updates!


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