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Sophie Coran explores personal duality in a surreal new “Duller Star” video

Sophie Coran | photo by Bob Sweeney | courtesy of the artist

Philly’s Sophie Coran styles her unique slant on the singer-songwriter genre as “noir & B,” so named for her love of classic B&W mysteries, and the timeless music and elegant fashion that went along with them.

Her new video for the recent single “Duller Star” takes that aesthetic to a visual level, filmed by Bob Sweeney in the frozen-in-time surroundings of Atlantic City on a misty winter day. Settings include a grey beach, a retro-50s diner, and a seedy motel, and the visual gets increasingly compounded and mysterious as the video goes on. It becomes less of a Maltese Falcon-esque literal story, and more of a surreal tapestry. Jessica Tramarin is Coran’s co-star in the video, and plays her doppelgänger; they two are separate halves of a single character in the vein of Ingmar Bergman’s Persona and David Lynch’s Mullholland Drive.  Continue reading →

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The Key Studio Sessions: Sophie Coran

Making music is a process of constant re-invention. Meticulously crafted studio recordings are re-shaped onstage, the onstage energy influences the direction of the next studio recordings, and the cycle continues back and forth over an artist’s lifespan.

Sophie Coran has already experienced quite a bit of that in her four years as a singer and songwriter working around Philadelphia. Her earliest work, the Better EP from 2015, took on a piano-driven identity in the vein of Carly Simon and Paula Cole. Last year, her follow-up, All that Matters, folded in elements of jazz and soul. And as Coran began playing shows around town in support of that release, she connected with Logan Roth and Arjun Dube of the experimental instrumental band Trap Rabbit. They became her live band, and the chemistry she developed with them — as well as bassist Mike Morrongiello — pushed her music into new realms.

The recent “Duller Star” single is the first example we’re hearing of collaboration. It’s a song that breathes in a husky tenor, its melodic skeleton fusing with Roth’s layers of synthesizer soundbanks and melodic leads to create an arty pop air reminiscent of Fiona Apple. There’s also a rhythmic pulse, care of Dube, that isn’t too far off from the crowd-galvanizing concepts of EDM.

Watch the video below as the song opens on a solitary Coran, playing her Nord and singing about a cigarette abandoned on the nightstand. As the verse progress, Morrongiello’s bass enters along with Roth’s keys, gently at first, and then becoming more defined. They unite with Dube’s drum stand pings and light rhythms, until the cymbals emphatically swish, then breathlessly cut to silence at the end of the pre-chorus. The beat drops. The song is under way. And as I said in an NPR blurb about Coran earlier this week, it will “in its own, downtempo jazz-pop kind of way, get you moving.”

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PREMIERE: Get to know singer-songwriter Sophie Coran in her new single “Jimmy”

Sophie Coran | Photo by Rachel Del Sordo | courtesy of the artist

Newly returned from London where she released her debut EP Better, singer-songwriter Sophie Coran has traded scenes and returned to her Philadelphia roots.  After spending the past year recording her tracks backed by Darla, the eight-piece instrumental funk band based in Philly, Coran is now preparing for the release of her second EP All That Matters. The combination of Coran’s intimate, smooth vocals with the full-band makes for a powerful combination that will certainly give the new EP a very different feel from the keyboard-driven debut EP. Continue reading →