In October 2021 Sofia Dragt went to Iceland for a month to stay in the beautiful town
of Ísafjördur in Iceland as Artist in residence. She loves going to places like this to get
inspired, and it wasn’t hard to get inspired in the Westfjords of Iceland. She then brings
her portable studio gear with her and starts recording ideas and songs. This time she
also brought her field recorder with her to record sounds from the area to add into the
She recently released three singles Temporary Gold, Up Until Five and The Train Goes
on, that are part of her new album ‘ISA’, names after the town she created all the music.
Apart from her first indie-pop singles, there are instrumentals on it.
She loves combining instrumental music and music with lyrics. Not only in her latest
releases, but she also works as a composer and producer for film and media and is now
working on a nature documentary and will be premiered July 7th in Dutch cinema.
I was SUPER EXCITED to hear this album after listening to a few tracks so I decided to reach out to Sophia to find out more in an exclusive interview. But first, let's get into this review shall we?
ISA ALBUM REVIEW
Sofia Dragt opens this seven track album with a song named 'Isa's Tuning' As the introductory piece of the album it offers just under two minutes but that doesn't mean that it lacks any depth. No. This piece is a beautiful sprinkle of wonder that is portrayed by layers of acoustic piano that hits your eardrums like the sound of the birds singing in the morning. As the track develops we hear a soft and distant echo of vocals, just enough to prepare you for the next track. 'Temporary Gold' is a gorgeous production. Keeping to the piano feel we hear more of a stripped back pop song that takes the form of a ballad. Sophia's angelic vocals are accompanied by sweeping backing layers that take you through the space of the track. Track three entitled 'Vegg' continues the acoustic piano once more. We start to realise that acoustic piano is the main feature in this album along with the beauty of Sophia's vocals. This track however, has no vocals whatsoever. This is a great move as it allows for us to reflect on all of the components in this production and how they compliant each other to tell the story. There are many different forms of classical piano arrangements in this piece that combine with dreampop synths and strings to create something extremely cinematic and ambient. This is my favorite track of the album so far due to the way that it fully captivated me as a listener. Track four entitled 'Up Until Five' gives leans more towards pop in the use of synth arrangements that are reminiscent of EDM. Sofia's vocal performance on this production remind me of Sinéad O'Connor. 'Twilight Cafe' offers something with a futuristic feel in its opening. A choppy synth sets the scene as a slow burning track offers us a trip through space. As the layers slowly build up there is something extremely moving found in the feel of the track and as the vocal adlibs make their way into the mix felt a sense of nature, spirituality and growth before the track ended with raindrop samples. Love it. The penultimate track entitled 'The Train Goes On' brings full lyrical content back into the project. Concluding in reflection, 'Isa's reflection' takes us back to the stripped down acoustic feel that was found in the opening piece. Leaving us completely to our own thoughts, this beautifully composed piano piece is something to be proud out. This artist has something rare and special in her artistry. I loved every minute of this album.
What would be your ultimate achievement for your latest single? Is there a particular vision that you had when putting the song together?
It’s all part of a concept album that I created in Iceland, I just went with the flow and opened myself up for new sounds and inspiration. My ultimate achievement would be when people hear my songs, they feel they’re in the beautiful nature and environment of Iceland. Just like how I created.
If you could define music in one short sentence (no cheating) what would you say?
For music in general, it moves and therefore helps to escape or set a mood that you wouldn’t have without it.
When did you first realise that you had the potential to be an artist? Is there a memory that has stuck in your mind as the turning point for you?
When I was twelve years old I wrote my first song. I always wanted to create and make music, so it was never a question really to do something else in life.
How would you define your sound?
I would define my sound as cinematic indie pop with sometimes classical tones. My new album has a couple of instrumentals on it as well, that’s more neo-classical I would say.
Cubase, Protools, or neither?
I work in Logic. But if I had to choose between the two, I would go for Protools.
This might be a tricky one but Studio vs Live - Which do you prefer and why?
I truly love the combination of both. Lovely to play a live show, but then the next day being in the studio and work on new things is fantastic. If I really needed to choose I would go for studio, cause creating new stuff is the thing I love doing the most.
How do you collaborate with vocalists and other artists?
I love working with other musicians and artists, it’s inspiring and I learn a lot from others. The way of collaborating really depends on whom I’m working with though.
If you had the opportunity to work with one of your favorite musical artists, who would you most like to collaborate with and why?
I would absolutely love to work with Ólafur Arnalds. He really inspired me in different ways, as well as musically but also choosing to be a popmusician as well as a composer and producer for filmmusic. He taught me that all of these things could be done by the same artist, no need for an alter ego persé. He does a lot of different things, but all with this pure energy that I totally love. I would love to be a vocalist on one of his tracks!
What are your future plans? What can we look forward to for the rest of 2022?
I’m now working on a Dutch nature documentary that will be in Dutch cinema from July 7th this year. And with my side project LUMINAR there will be new releases this year as well.
Where can we find the track? Links to socials and distribution handles