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Sophie Moleta


Country of origin:

New Zealand

Type of music generally:

Ethereal occasionally ectronica pop

Status:

Most recent release, The Birth of Love (EP, 2015)

See also:

Sophie Moleta's site

Sophie Moleta's SoundCloud page

Sophie Moleta's Bandcamp site

Wikipedia's entry on Sophie Moleta

Sophie Moleta also recorded as SatyaKadambiiMela with Kadambii Barnao and Melanie Robinson (2012 album, Truth Is)

Comparisons:

Kate Bush, Jane Siberry, Jennifer Ferguson

Covers/own material:

Own and cowritten

General comments:

Her work is extensive—but much better-known in France (where she has a cult following) and in the UK to a lesser extent. Folk/pop is a part of her work—as was what i consider a diversion into 'europop' (dance tracks)—as is some 'electronic ambient' work released on a USA CD last year. Her main body of work is vocal/piano (and other instruments) primarily of her own songs. But as varied as her solo work and collaborations have been, there is a unifying flavour to Sophie's work—her songs are highly personal, generally sparse in words, intense with vocal emotion, and always recognisable for their aural beauty. I have seen her compared to Kate Bush, Bjork, Tori Amos, Margo Timmins (Cowboy Junkies) and Terami Hirsch, and there are those elements—but Sophie's vocal approach is seductively unique to my ears. (hestersnz@yahoo.com)

You should hurry up and go buy Sophie Moleta's album(s). She had one album released in Europe called Dive and has a bunch of others that are just as wonderful. She has a similar approach to music like veda—everything is unique and magical that she records...if she wasn't located in Perth Australia, she would be better known (and should be dammit!!!).
     Dive (how can you not like a disc whose first track is called "octave war"—lovely and minimalistic and powerful and addictive) was one of my top ten discs of the year.
     best description would be if you crossed marianne nowottny with veda. any fan of marianne nowottny ought to try to get a copy :) truly magical stuff. (gordoja@optonline.net)

Sophie Moleta's work appears to be minimalistic with many solo piano pieces, but also some excursions into the ambient/dance genre. She resembles Kate Bush a little but mostly I hear shades of Jane Siberry's quirky delivery and flexible expression in various genres. The single "Te-Atwahai" is a moving and mostly spoken piece of an encounter with a young girl. Moleta appears to be an artist deserving of attention and with great talent. (stjarnell@yahoo.com)

Recommended first album:

For a start the latest album, Every Girl I Know Deserves a Packet of Stars, is a great place to get familiar with Sophie's piano/vocals style. but then search out various older releases—mainly available via Sophie's website and be aware that the work crosses various genres—laid-back jazz, electronic ambient, various dance/trance remixes—but all with great vocals. (hestersnz@yahoo.com)

Recordings:

  • The Slow Scrape (cassette only, 1992)
  • Trust (1998)
  • Dive (2000)
  • Temple (2000)
  • The Cowshed Sessions (2000)
  • Love/Vole (Temple/grow in love, 2001)
  • Grow in love (2001)
  • Accept (2002)
  • Live in Lille (2000)
  • My Style of Sensual (2003)
  • Untie Me (with Holmes Ives, 2005)
  • What Happened in Fremantle? (with David Harenstam, 2004)
  • Live at LaSalle (Singapore) (live, 2005)
  • Te-Atawhai (3-track New Zealand single, 2006 + separate video/DVD of the title track)
  • Awaken (2006, original track from "Untie Me" in nine remix versions USA)
  • Every Girl I Know Deserves a Packet of Stars (2007, 14 tracks + video, NZ release)
  • The Birth of Love (EP, 2015)

Te-Atawhai

Release info:

2006—self-released

Availability:

Limited edition; no longer available; tracks all available on Every Girl I Know Deserves a Packet of Stars

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Sophie Moleta—vocals, piano, electronics

Comments:

New Zealand's Sophie Moleta has a new single out, "Te-Atawhai", a charming song about a young girl she knows. Sophie's piano music is highly melodic and her lyrics poetic. Often the words are too concerned with relationships for me, or slightly new agey. Other times they are compellingly abstract ("ridges were sculpted and smoothed...by eruptions over hundreds of thousands of years"—2nd song on the single, also sampled in an electronic song).
     "Te-Atawhai" is different again, a story-song full of very real and very particular details—quite alive. Just when it might get too cute (I wish she hadn't spelt out "I love that girl Te-Atawhai, she reminds me of her inner child"), Sophie sings "And it's Clare's birthday and I wanted to see her, but I'm so tired and I can't talk about this (to) committed couples and me, wanting it so much with a playboy and his daughter, Te-Atawhai."
     "Te-Atawhai" is one of Sophie's singing-and-talking songs. She speaks unusually melodically, but sometimes I find the songs disappear a bit when she speaks. In certain instances her use of voice reminds me strongly of Shona Laing, which really surprises me because I don't listen to Shona, and I see them as very different types of musicians. (k_hester_k@yahoo.co.nz)


Every Girl I Know Deserves a Packet of Stars

Release info:

2007—self-released—sofa11

Availability:

See Sophie Moleta's site or CDBaby.com

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Sophia Moleta—vocals, piano, electronics

Comments:

While occasionally she walks the edge of the new-agey and sweet, there's something so amazingly catchy about Sophie Moleta's directness and her lovely vocals that I really enjoy this album. It's a very pretty, very emotive collection of piano-based songs. Sophie Moleta feels like a natural, as though she creates her songs while she's singing them—a truly magical touch. Something here in her songwriting and performance reminds me of Jennifer Ferguson. (Neile)


Thanks to stjarnell@yahoo.com for work on this entry.

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