Gig Review: SOFY at The Bodega

Words: Maddie Dinnage
Photos: Nigel King
Thursday 07 December 2023
reading time: min, words

Leicester lass SOFY returns to Notts after a stellar set at this year’s Dot-to-Dot. With her impressive repertoire of propa' Bri'ish indie-pop bangers, the singer is a frontrunner in a new wave of up-and-coming voices. Trust us, she’s mega...

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The last person you’d expect to see after walking up the stairs to The Bodega is Timothée Chalamet, but this is just the nature of SOFY’s world. A cardboard cutout of the actor stood glaringly next to the merch table, cheekbones-and-all, his eyes peering into the souls of unsuspecting punters. Those who are well-versed in SOFY’s discography will understand the not-so-subtle nod to her track Timothée Chalamet. I think, whichever way you look at it, you know it’ll be a solid night if Timmy C is in attendance. 

The venue becomes increasingly packed in the moments before the headline set. A chilled-out, lo-fi playlist intermingles with the too-loud voices of those who have been drinking since 4pm (no judgment here!), the soundtrack of many a great night at the Pelham St venue. SOFY certainly takes “It’s my world and you’re just living in it” quite literally, adorning the performance space with the iconic washing line from the Chaos and Commotion EP artwork, taking the opportunity to promote her merch (which totally worked by the way, I’m still gutted that I didn’t buy the SOFY socks). It was as if we had fallen down the rabbit hole into the singer’s very own wonderland, and nobody was in a rush to return to reality any time soon. 

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As the introduction of O Fortuna Carmina Burana plays theatrically through the surrounding speakers, SOFY and her band take to the stage. One thing becomes instantly clear: the singer is a force of energy with platinum hair and a football jersey; her positive attitude is delightfully infectious. She slips fluidly into the opening ad-libs of Yoyo, a track which celebrates the best bits of indie, rock, and hip-hop. The song opens with a satisfying record scratch, before breaking away to a grungy bass guitar melody: the perfect backdrop for SOFY’s whispering vocals. Her voice is perfectly Lily Allen-esque, dominated by that quintessential Bri’ish lilt, and infused with riotous attitude. The chorus makes way for some vivid imagery “Better the devil I don’t know, you say you’re an angel but I don’t think so”; the clever kind of lyricism which sticks with you for days.

SOFY’s set buzzes with the creative inspiration provided by a collection of artists and genres. While tracks such as Ashley Cole Type Beat, Wet Paint, and He’s Not You echo the funky soundscapes of Easy Life and Declan Mckenna, No Drama possesses the dream-like qualities of Arlo Parks and Loyle Carner. The singer is so much more than her groovy basslines and lyrical wit, a truth she confirms during her performance of btw and her cover of Paramore’s The Only Exception. Stripping it back to threadbare acoustics, SOFY lays bare her innermost emotions, a truth she tells with the purest of vocals. Composing bop-after-bop is an impressive feat in itself, but she has some serious pipes. 

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The evening ends with the bittersweet supermarket, a perfect example of the “sounds happy but is actually quite sad” micro-genre (of which I am an avid supporter). The song amalgamates all of the messy and complex emotions which come with making mistakes, with a vocal melody which both warms and stings the heart. While some artists finish with their biggest track (Big Talk would have been the obvious choice) SOFY subverts expectations by selecting the track which deeply resonates with the room.

Though the singer teems with confidence, she is deeply humble, and is visibly overwhelmed by the support she has received from the crowd at The Bodega, admitting that "this has probably been my favourite show ever." With her dazzling spirit and limitless talent, SOFY has all the necessary components for indie-pop stardom, not to mention that she is effortlessly cool. If there was ever an artist to keep your eye on, let it be her.

SOFY performed at The Bodega on 30 November 2023


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