If you listen you can hear the ocean… The same thing we tell our children when they hold a seashell to their ear could be said of Sophie Hutchings‘ music, only rather than trapped ambient noise emulating the faint echo of a washing tide, the call of the sea can be heard in the spirit & flow of her dialog with the piano. As a lover of the outdoors and someone who still swims and surfs with “enthusiastic regularity”, she finds the water has a medicinal effect and somehow manages to capture an essence of that wild, calming beauty in her compositions and improvisations.
While Sophie’s last studio album Scattered On The Wind (Mercury KX, 2020) connected to these themes quite directly, her new EP called Love & Keep was recorded in the dead of night and offers a different kind of tranquility from the perspective of the insomniac seeking solace. In what is also her own nod to World Sleep Day, she explores a world of interiority with a tender touch that offers reassuring company in the form of six dulcet nocturnal improvisations that will soothe the most restless soul. When the sun rises, the ocean will still be there, calling…
Love & Keep is a bit of nostalgic contemplation on appreciating the simple things that we perhaps took for granted and now value as extremely precious. Instead of holding onto and valuing something from before, it’s about building on that, rather than allowing the world of technology to fill in the social fabric and to consider the longevity and significance of friendships in time of uncertainty and struggle. I guess it’s also just allowing time to ponder, and breathe, to free us of extra anxiety to what has already been brought upon us and to not feel alone in that.Sophie Hutchings
Love and Keep is available now as a digital release from Mercury KX, an imprint launched in 2017 by Universal Music UK/Decca Records as “an adventure in post-classical pop” which is also home to artists such as Ólafur Arnalds, Anoushka Shankar, Keaton Henson, and Lambert.