(Make Me a) TRISTE© Mixtape Episode 94: Sophie Jamieson

Sophie Jamieson (©Tatjana Rueegsegger)

Sophie Jamieson comes from London and writes intimate, fragile, visceral and painfully honest songs. She explores pain, addiction and loneliness with courage and brutal sincerity as it is the only way to face her demons and to emerge victorious from the struggle.
Her first EP, Where was released in 2013. A single, Stain / Other, followed one year later, but personal issues kept her out from the scene for four years.
It was only in 2019, that she started writing songs again. Since then, Sophie Jamieson has released two EPs, Hammer and Release, dealing, starkly and without self-pity, depression and isolation, and the struggles it takes to get out of it. Her debut album is called Choosing and will be out tomorrow December 2nd on Bella Union. On the new record Jamieson explicitly addresses self-destructive behavior in an attempt to pull herself out of a downward spiral and making choices, however difficult and painful they may be.

What She Says: “This song began as a love letter to alcohol, written from the cusp of falling into addiction. I had begun to trust this tool but I could feel it turning on me, like a bad friend. I knew I was close to losing control over it, and realised that I had to choose whether to fall in or not. This song exists at the brink of choice: whether to abandon yourself, or whether to make the colossal effort to rescue yourself. The video, like the song, approaches the edge – the tantalising mystery and comfort of it, the openness of possibility and also the quiet knowledge of the dead end. The shoreline is that edge: beautiful, eerie, infinite, and empty.

This song came from a desperate need to fill a void I could not seem to fill myself. I wanted to fix, and be fixed by somebody who was in no position to do so. I was blinded by this idea that they were the way out of my pain, and when they said no, the walls came tumbling in every time and I didn’t know how to hold them up.

Her Mixtape:

Jeff Buckley – I Know it’s Over (live at Sony Studios)

This song came up on my youtube algorithm about a year ago, just when I was suffering from a tough heartbreak. It hit me in all the places I needed to be hit. “Mother, I can feel the soil falling over my head”… this song is like an exorcism it goes so deep. Brings you to the bottom of your pain so that the only way seems to be back up.

David John Morris – The Ballad of Ross Wyld

This song inspired the last song I wrote. David’s album came out a couple of weeks ago and I heard him play this song at his album launch. It’s about the guardian property (an ex-care home) he used to live in. The song winds from dreaming about a fantasy home with a cherry tree in the garden to realising that there’s already a cherry tree in his garden and that this is truly home. I’ve lived in a number of guardian properties (buildings of various kinds awaiting demolition or selling, rented out for a reduced price) over the last 4 years. He played this song and it moved me to the core as I realised I’d never really looked up and realised what this way of life has given me, and how it’s affected my sense of what “home” means. I went home and wrote my own loving dedication to my series of strange homes.

Gillian Welch – I Dream a Highway

This is the longest song I’ve ever heard. It’s the perfect length. 15mins. I get totally lost in it every time. I’ve had producers try to shorten my songs a lot and next time I’m just going to show them this. Sometimes a song just has to keep going. This one paints so many pictures and there’s this sense of reminiscence and drifting all the way through – but most of all there is a real steadiness, steadfastness, winding, patient journey.

Cassandra Jenkins – New Bikini

This song has been taking me through life lately, acting as my tonic, my bottle of medicine. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a more comforting hug of a song. It’s got me wanting to jump in cold water every time I listen.

Willy Mason – Carry On

I toured with Willy and his band in August and September this year. He changed his setlist every night and played soooo many songs from across his 4 albums but only played this precious song once on that adventure, in Kendal. I love it deeply. We called our tour whatsapp group “4 Lonely Moths”. I spent the rest of the tour waiting for him to play it again but in the end…Kendal was the only time.

Anaïs Mitchell – Little Big Girl

First time I heard this song I cried. I remember where I was – cycling through a park in South London on my way to work in the spring. I deeply appreciate a woman’s age being acknowledged and celebrated through song. I’d never heard a song that seemed to see and love the part of me that this song did.

The Magnetic Fields – All My Little Words

I saw The Magnetic Fields at End of The Road this summer, I wasn’t familiar with them, but I loved their set and this song made me…cry. It happens a lot. There was something about it. I asked the guy behind me what it was called and have listened to it loads since. It was so comforting to hear in this song that some people just have to fly and you can’t keep them no matter how much you love them. Somehow this song feels like a celebration of that heartbreaking fact.

Choosing will be out tomorrow, December 2nd, on Bella UnionLook HERE for more information on Sophie Jamieson.

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