“I have tons and tons of spinster lyrics,” Sophie Strauss explains, referring to her writing process. She starts with the words, the collection outpacing the completed works.
“For a while I used to write everything and then just teach it to a guitarist,” she continues. Of late, she’s been sharing the songwriting burden. “Lately, I’ve been collaborating on writing much more.” Her guitarist, Mimo Reynolds, has co-written three out of nine of the songs, “as the set list currently stands.”
That set list will be performed on Thursday, with Cam Johnson percussively filling out the combo. They’re closing out the 13th at 10.30pm.
“I like the freedom of playing shows by myself,” Strauss admits, “but the fullness of the music and the range of what I can play is much greater when I’m working with other people.”
Both styles – solo and accompanied – can be heard on Strauss’ EP, I’m Sleeping If You Call. The next release will feature more of the band sound. “It’s just a matter of finding the studio and the time and to record something fuller than an EP.”
Time’s running short, as Strauss, still in college, is spending a semester abroad in the Spring. This gig at Sidewalk may be the last time to see this up-and-comer before she up and leaves town. It’s a shame we’ll so soon lose access to this young artist, her evident charm, and her growing repertoire of songs.
Luckily, there will be the videos. “We shot a handful of videos around the city. Though a traditional music video is glamorous and appealing, my music isn’t really suited to a lip-syncing polished video just yet, certainly nothing off the EP.”
Instead Strauss and her collaborators recorded live takes of songs with the greatest backdrop known to mankind: New York City.
“We decided to just go out and record and see what happened. Plus, as nerdy as this sounds, I just really love singing so I got to sing over and over and over again all over the city!”
The video, for “Warm Bed,” is full of personality and warmth, and is only the first to see the light of day. “The others are for songs that I haven’t released anywhere else yet, so they’ll be a surprise!”