“Hey Everyone… I’m Sophie Dorsten…
I once overheard someone describe Sophie’s band as being good; they just hadn’t sinned enough. We’re not wishing Dorsten a life of sin, in order to become more believable. However, more life experience will give her music much more depth. With a voice like hers, though, she really has a chance to go places.Scope Mag Sept 2019
Sophie Dorsten is nineteen years old. She released an EP at thirteen years old. She competed in Alice Cooper’s Proof is in the Pudding at sixteen – and took 2nd Place. She has performed the National Anthem for the Chicago Cubs, LA Dodgers, SF Giants, and Oakland A’s during Arizona’s Spring Training. And she just signed with Hookworm Records to record an original song with Bob Hoag at Flying Blanket Recording for Limited Edition Vinyl Release.
Sophie was approached late in the game as Hookworm was building its slate of artists to enter Flying Blanket Studios in the Spring of 2022. Megan & Shane, long time supporters of the Hookworm project, had agreed to participate on HookwormTWO with Birds + Arrows, Chrome Rhino, Sliced Limes, Daphne + The Glitches and Wurmfur, but the Americana / Country Duo decided to step away, embrace a new road, and tipped their hat to Sophie, who was an eager contender for a Hookworm Compilation project.
Before the Pandemic hit, Sophie had been working on her solo material, but with crisis, family tightens together – and with Alex back home in Gilbert, Arizona the two siblings started working on new collaborative material.
Their first single, Babydoll, was released in 2020. For the purposes of this #ThursdayReview, that is the collection of songs on which we chose to focus.
A Single Collection Retrospective
A couple of years ago, before the world changed, I caught up with Sophie at The Marquee Theater and we did a fun piece about her show, and her musical goals as Phoenix’s Rising Songbird. That November she released her single Growing, a heart felt, poignant song written from a daughter blossoming into adulthood to her mother/ business manager/ team leader/ cheerleader/ street team/ super fan mother Anne Marie. By April 2020 Arizona had entered lockdown with the rest of the world, and she released Phasin’.
But perhaps, because the world no longer made sense, and Sophie was just hitting the adult year of eighteen – nothing felt right. She wrote a ballad called Tomorrow, which was recorded in Nashville and reviewed by Ed Masely of Arizona Central. It is about a girl, turning 18, and having no idea what tomorrow is. Many graduates feel that way. Poised on the edge of college, greatness, dreams…. Sophie and her generation’s ideas of Tomorrow, are not the same.
But with a global crisis comes change, and Sophie’s brother, Alex, who had just graduated from GCU, had returned home in a world of uncertain tomorrows. Trying to see the wonderful side of an uncertain reality, the siblings took the opportunity to write and collaborate on new songs. They have now done six. Sophie, who can play moody, acoustic guitar-driven ballads and sing with the angels is a self-described indie/folk singer. Alex is 22, but his sister 3 years his junior has been performing since the age of 9, has sang on stage with Alice Cooper, has a long discography of recorded music, and now.. has the duo signed to a record contract. It may seem surprising, until you look at Sophie’s resume. After all, at nineteen, she is already a musical industry veteran whose career has survived a global pandemic.
The new single from Sophie and Alex Dorsten will be out on all musical platforms on October 1.
Oh, this one, #TakeCoverArizona! Sophie and Alex unleash the arsenal. They pull out the stops, show you the tools, and ravage you, woo you, crush you to the floor and beg you to “just be honest, ohhhh. say that you love me… I KNOW YOU DON’T“….. and then that voice…. oh it echoes…..it lures like a Siren from the depths… just in the distance…. like a ghost distantly fading into an oubliette with the receipts from heart stains littering her wake. Alex comes in hard, making his presence pronounced, loud, and simply beautiful. Crashing chords. Understated finger picked sticatto moments, and almost a spanish lullaby close. This song just might have it all, music fans! Sophie came out of a Pandemic, nineteen, experienced, and ready to show the world she is not Just A Little Blonde Girl.
Her Big Voice… is Golden. This song…. is lights out fantastic! Stream RECEIPTS on all platforms OCTOBER 1st!
This Little Blonde Girl is spreading the Songbird’s Wings…. You can Hear her Big Voice rising, confident, willing to risk, like a Phoenix flapping in flames… oh just wait for #Receipts!
I wish I could just go outside and play | play all day and sing in the rain | I don’t know what to say what to do what to think | I just want my dream In this reality | Ohhhhhhh | I don’t know what to do what to say what to think I just know what my dreams are | Ohhhhhhhh.Nineteen.
Are they still naive? Have they still not sinned enough? The Youth are so easy to dismiss. In another life, I was a teacher, and one of the things that made me very good at what I did, is that I never stopped learning. These kids today. These kids. Do not dismiss them. Look at the world they have seen. Look at the unknowns, the uncertainly…. but they still know what their dreams are. I am inspired by the youth every single day. A great teacher does not want to win the Silver Apple. They want one of their students to win it.
Thank you for teaching me today Sophie. 19 year old girl. Golden voice. Who hasn’t sinned enough. Indeed. But she knows what her dreams are. So powerful. So poingant.
But, she is gonna be alright…
Oh and did you know that Sophie has answered the highly important, #BreakingNews, Question the World Wants to Know…….. Samurai or Ninja? Find out the answer because you know…. Ghost Writer.
September 2019. Scope Mag. “We’re not wishing Dorsten a life of sin in order to be more believable. However, more life experience will giver her music much more depth.” The young and famous go searching for the life experience in many different ways. For Sophie and Alex, they got a Pandemic. Did it make them more believeable?
Yes. And then Some. Along with the rest of their generation.
She is 19. He is 22. Their music is simple, with a soul that defies their age. It is folk, stripped down, and powered with a voice from the Golden Age of Music. Have they suffered enough? Has their life experience made their songs more believable? 2019 perhaps they would grow into that voice. 2021, perhaps the world will just let them play outside.
Powerful Stuff…. when you stop and think about the poetry behind that golden smile.
I am forced to wonder, where this latest collection of songs would have gone without the Pandemic. I ask myself, what was happening in October of 2020:
Tuesday marked the third consecutive day the U.S. set a record high of average daily Covid-19 cases. The number of new U.S. cases on Tuesday hit an all-time high of 71,832, on a seven-day-average, topping the prior record set on Monday, according to a CNBC analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University. The seven-day-average of daily cases reflects a roughly 21% increase compared with a week ago, according to JHU data.CNN
And with Babydoll you hear that voice, that readiness to push the boundries, but it feels like it is still finding its way, its path, the place it will lay claim.. and just build towards the sky. But it is not there. Not yet.
But the rest of the songs…. give them a wisdom beyond their years in a world the youngest of us, must see as alien.
To say that I am excited to see what these two amazingly gifted young people do at Flying Blanket Recording …
…with Bob Hoag…. is a vast understatement.
Keep Your Shiny Sides Up, Friends.
P.S. For the Roses
Sophie was sixteen. The Ep was called Roses.
With Roses, Dorsten sings like a true adult. One must wonder, what with a title like Roses, if Dorsten was inspired by another folk singer. One who was not an indie artist – indie didn’t even exist at the time – but a commercial artist, named Joni Mitchell. For the Roses, was Mitchell’s fifth studio album. It’s nearly impossible to imagine modern folk – even the indie variety – without the pioneering work of Joni Mitchell. Before Mitchell, it was rare to hear a woman write and sing highly introspective, scarily vulnerable songs. She was one of the first, and still after all that have come after her, one of the best. Dorsten draws from Mitchell with the heartfelt nature of this song. She also sings beautiful high notes, the way Mitchell used to do, before smoking gave her voice an equally enjoyable husky tone. Dorsten has the sound down, although one must wonder how much real life love she’s experienced.Skope Mag, September 10, 2019