A debut album on Easter weekend: I simply enjoyed the voice and the very special sound of Sophia Bel, when I ran into Anxious Avoidant on a promotion platform. The eleven song album has been released on Good Friday, 15th April 2022.
Sophia Bel – About The Artist
Sophia Bel is an artist nowadays living in Montreal. She was born in Michigan, though. Her father has a Quebecois background, while her mother is having Dutch-American roots. Her music is influenced by 1990’s and early 2000’s pop, but also emo-rock and post-punk. Apart from singles, Sophia Bel has released two EPs so far. They are both named Princess of the Dead, with and additional Vol.1 (2019) and Vol.2 (2020).
Sophia Bel – Anxious Avoidant – Track by Track
The eleven song album lasts 41 minutes.
1. All Fucking Weekend
The opening song is the key track used for the promotion of the album. A nice, melodic tune, which is fun to listen. Hard to argue against that the title itself is creating an additional catch as well.
2. You’re Not Real You’re Just A Ghost
The second song is having a bit more cheekiness. The present rhythm is also increasing the pop music touch of You’re Not Real You’re Just A Ghost. These lyrics are almost just spoken in this song, by the way. Nice.
3. Lonely After Curfew
Four songs have been selected as single releases before the album, Lonely After Curfew is one of them. I like the gentle guitar play, which leads to a very personal “girl with a guitar” feeling. However, the song moves more towards alternative sounds during the run-off of its four minutes.
4. I Won’t Bite
Baby, it’s getting cold outside
But there’s a fire in my heart
So let me warm you up at night
I won’t bite (or I just might if you like)
5. Everything I Touch Falls Apart
Hidden in the “sandwich” of two single releases before and afterwards, Everything I Touch Falls Apart feels like the “hidden gem” of the album to me. A beautiful gentle song, which is focusing on this fine and catchy melody. Really good one.
6. 2AM (And I Did It Again)
The sixth track 2AM (And I Did It Again) is a bit melancholic. Indeed, the song is going back to the rather rocking sounds at the beginning of the album – you even feel the punk music spirit. Very picturesque lyrics:
2AM and I did it again
Broke my hand trying to say it with a pen
Putting up a fight no one heard at night
7. I Don’t Need My Space
Out of the four single releases, I Don’t Need My Space is the most catching one to me. Even though the song feels a bit like teenage pop, it just stays in my mind best. Very present keys / synth sounds in here as well.
Choke adds the ballad-feeling to Anxious Avoidant.
9. I Only Want You Cuz You’re Mean
I only want you cuz you’re mean
But now I’m old enough to see
That no one changes with no space to breathe
So take your space and lose my number please
The ninth song is a slow track, very intimate and emotional. The guitars are strumming and a melody is humming in the background and you feel urged to hand over Sophia Bel a pack of tissues. Lovely atmosphere.
10. Just Like A Glove
With almost five minutes, Just Like A Glove is the longest track of the album. Bel makes use of that time and walks through different sounds and atmospheres. On the one hand, this is fascinating on the musical side – on the other hand, the track still feels too long to me.
11. I Promise I’ll Stop Running From The Light
Towards the end of the album, there are too many quiet songs almost completely focusing on the lyrics. Actively listening to the way Bel is telling stories is really enjoyable – however, I would also love to have some more louder songs as well.
Sophia Bel – Anxious Avoidant – Spotify
Here is Anxious Avoidant on Spotify:
Sophia Bel – Anxious Avoidant – My View
Anxious Avoidant includes so many nice features. The album really convinced me of the talent of the artist. However, it is not balanced enough yet. The rocking and louder songs are already more mature than the quiet moments of her April 2022. This is really a shame, her lyrics are really beautiful. This release is not bad at all – the artist just has the potential to be much better next time.
Canadian Music Reviews 2022