Have you ever worried you look eerily similar to your partner’s ex? Or got caught up with the idea that you might inadvertently bring about the violent death of a loved one? Well, Sophie May has, and it’s something she gives a thorough shake out on her second EP, ‘Worst Thoughts In The World’.
A release that confronts intrusive thoughts to strip them of their power – with co-writes from Matt Maltese (‘Worst Thoughts In The World’) and Spector’s Fred Macpherson (‘Killing You In My Sleep’), no less – it sees the breakthrough artist face up to anxiety with charm and disarming honesty.
Here, she talks us through the release track by track.
I started writing ‘Doppelgänger’ mid-last year when I was feeling a touch of insecurity about my appearance. My partner and I had been joking that they had a really specific type, inspiring the running theme throughout ‘Doppelgänger’. There was something self-destructive about comparing myself to their ex. It was a useless type of jealousy, and I ended up running with that idea and basically insinuating we were identical twins. Poking fun at sensitive topics like this took some weight off of the intensity. Making light of irrational worries always helps me see a situation for what it is, not that serious.
Killing You In My Sleep
Intrusive thoughts can come in all shapes and sizes; for me, I have a lot of violent dreams about loved ones dying. I often worry I’m manifesting those dreams into fruition. So instead of obsessively staring at a wall and worrying if my partner should drive today, I ended up writing this song. It was a cathartic process. Writing about dreams that often stay in a part of the brain you’d rather not show to the public. Taking the power away from them makes you release how ridiculous they actually sound when said out loud.
Wish I Was A Single Girl Again
A cover of Tia Blake’s ‘Wish I Was A Single Girl Again’. I found this song and immediately fell in love with it. I thought the title seemed comedic yet truthful, resonating with me as a woman in her twenties. The turbulent age of becoming a ‘real’ grown-up while still raging with hormones. What made me decide to cover it was my mum. I sent her the track, and she related its likeness to my grandmother’s life. Who, at 20, was rejected from art school after falling pregnant with my mother. So the concept of wishing to be single again, with options narrowing, felt even more poignant.
This song explores how meeting someone really ‘right’ can also highlight how really ‘wrong’ some of your past relationships were. In one specific relationship it felt like I had turned into more of a caregiver than a girlfriend. With that in mind, I tried to acknowledge that I was a ‘baby’ too. Most of our early relationships aren’t going to be a good reflection of maturity. I wrote this in LA at the beginning of the year with an artist called Slimdan. It was a new and exciting environment for me, which I think comes through in the more funny moments of the song. Even with its sad undertones, it still has a lightness, showing that with time and growth, you’ll find the right person for you.
Worst Thoughts In The World
The final track in the EP and probably the most honest I’ve ever been in a song. I never thought I’d have a track with lyrics about kissing my brother, but it’s been surprisingly freeing. At the heart of any intrusive thought lies a massive pit of guilt and shame. Almost every lyric in this song at some point I’ve spent time reeling over. Going back and forth between family and friends for reassurance that I’m not, in fact, a lying sociopath. At the beginning of summer last year, I found myself in a fog of guilt and obsessive thinking. I tried to convince myself each day was different. I could be a different person with a different brain who was allowed to feel good. From then, I began writing ‘Worst Thoughts In the World’. My favourite song so far.
Sophie May’s EP ‘Worst Thoughts In The World’ is out now.