I love a curated playlist!. When I first met my fiancé, I was on tour in Europe for eight weeks, and he sent me dozens of playlists. Essentially, the modern version of a mix tape. I found it very romantic and cool. So, in the spirt of supporting other artists, and continuing my love of the mix tape, I give to you my top seven albums of 2019.
— Sophie Auster
1. Tank and the Bangas - Green Balloon
This band has so much energy and fun. I first discovered them on NPR’s Tiny Desk series. They actually won a contest to play the series. Their energy is infectious. For people who don’t know, now you know.
2. Sharon Van Etten - Remind Me Tomorrow
I'm really happy Sharon Van Etten released new music after a long overdue pause. This album is atmospheric and emotionally dense.
3. Aurora - A Different Kind of Human
Maybe I have a soft spot for Aurora because my Grandmother is Norwegian and I grew up with Scandinavian folklore, but I think it is very hard not to be charmed by her. She is uniquely herself with soaring songs about nature, animals, and freedom.
4. Mavis Staples - We Get By
I love Mavis Staples and I’m a huge admirer of hers. I love that she continues to make music. I also love that she kicked off her 80th birthday at the Apollo Theater with the new crop of up-and-coming female singers. We Get By is a spare and moving album. The mic is so close you can hear Staples catch her breath between lines.
5. Anderson Paak - Ventura
Coming only months after his third album, Paak doesn’t disappoint with his raspy romantic vocals.
6. Jennah Bell - Anchors and Elephants
Jennah and I have mutual friends, but I was introduced to her when she opened up for Emily King this year. I really love her soulful voice. She is one to watch.
7. Sessa - Grandeza
My friend and producer, Daniel Schlett, mixed this record and we’ve been listening to it in the studio while we’ve been working on new music. It was recorded in an abandoned theater and has a haunting feel. If you listen closely, you can hear bats flapping around in the background.
Sophie Auster is an award winning singer and songwriter, born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. She has toured all over the world and has been featured in Vogue, Elle, Les InRocks, Spin, Glamour, Paris Match, Rolling Stone, Velvet, Paper, Nylon, Porter, and was spotlighted as one of W Magazine's rising young stars. Auster's last album has been praised by The New York Times for its "sultry, folksy vocals" and W Magazine calls it "soaring." John Osburn of the acclaimed music blog, Obsburt raves: "Each song was a realization, and a high point. Her voice is relentlessly surprising, shimmering with folk, blues, concert rock, and cabaret." Auster has made two LP's, her self titled debut released under Naive records, Dogs and Men, and one EP, Red Weather. In her new album, Next Time, Sophie Auster, a New York singer and songwriter leverages the freedom to soulfully speak her mind and share truths by way of vivid songwriting cast over swaths of lush acoustic guitars and dense piano chords. Impressed by his production on Nicole Atkins’ Slow Phaser, she reached out to producer Tore Johansson in Sweden. As a result, the environment lives and breathes in the background.
In many ways, the title signals the start of a new chapter for the songstress.
Elle France calls Sophie “Auster on fire” and sites the album as “a mix of sensual pop-folk and baroque”. After gracing the cover, of D La Republica, in Italy this year the magazine praises Auster for her “diva voice” drawing comparisons to “…Nina Simone, Billie Holiday, Tom Waits, Fiona Apple.” Jay N. Miller of The Patriot Ledger writes “Auster came away with an album that touches upon many styles, yet is unmistakably her own….the pop melodies and indelible hooks suggest she could cross over into massive chart success.”
Next Time was released through BMG worldwide this April, 2019. Sophie is at work on a new EP, slated for November 2019, titled “History Happens at Night”.