Hottest pop EP of 2016

Sophie & The Bom Boms go for the heart on final EP of 2016.

 

If a band promises to deliver something and then fails to do so, they better have a damn good reason for doing so. This is especially the case for Sophie and the Bom Boms, an outfit that began the year by dropping a string of killer singles with the promise of there being one per month. Needless to say, this promise fell through and it felt honestly disappointing. After a series of hit tracks, the musical world needed more of their unique brand of feminism-fused bratpop brilliance.

Fortunately, the band have returned with a release that was worth the wait. Not only is latest release Going For The Heart the band’s most powerful and cohesive release to date, it is also arguably one of the finest moments of pop in 2016. While S&TBBs have long had an affinity for pop gems (just look at the power of Big Girls or Creme De La Creme), it is only now that it feels the next step has been taken. Rather than a collection of upbeat songs that feel designed exclusively for radio airtime, this feels like a series of anthems crafted to fill hearts as much as charts.

Better yet, it’s difficult to pick just one track that best exemplifies this anthemic nature. Opener Good is a sophisticated, mid-tempo song that goes more for the memorable pop vibe than the energetic bratpop we’ve come to associate with the band. It has a strong early-70s pop feel to it, with post-chorus guitar riffs sounding oddly like a Wings song, and comes across as a perfect late-night singalong. Yet the next track, I Want It, returns to the standard S&TBB formula of energetic bratpop, just this time with a more developed structure that provides one of the EP’s most anthemic moments and what could be considered the definitive sound of the band. While it is very female-centric, it would be difficult for listeners of any gender to deny its infectious glory.

And that is the magic of this outfit. While lyrically the songs clearly come from a place more indebted to a female experience than anything else, the band always manage to find a perfect middle-ground that everybody can enjoy and fall in love with. With this EP, every song is flawlessly crafted to appeal to all listeners – regardless of gender, or even whether they like intense pop numbers or slow-burners.

While this brilliance is bittersweet as it is the band’s final release for at least three months, it closes on a perfect note: Swim, possibly the band’s greatest and most rousing track to date. There is no flaws with this EP, other than its relatively short run time (roughly fifteen minutes). If there is justice anywhere in the universe, S&TBBs will grace us with a full-length album in 2017. But until then, this gem will fill the void.

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