NEWS: Sophie Jamieson announces debut album, ‘Choosing’; shares lead single ‘Sink’; plus details of further live dates

LIVE: Sophie Jamieson / Eva Lunny – The Greys, Brighton, 27/02/2023

Frost glazed the streets of Brighton as the womb-like warmth of The Greys pub enveloped the intimate crowd inside. Sitting like the guest of honour at a Celtic Banquet was Eva Lunny’s harp – an elegant presence and a welcome surprise for those of us who are used to sticky floors and gritty venues. Musos leaned on the bar, in their beanies and thrift shop treasures, sitting on bar stools and resting on the stairs completely spellbound at the ambient magic that we were about to encounter. This place is known for having top acts in a tiny venue.

Hosted by independent live music promotors, Melting Vinyl, both artists, Sophie Jamieson and Eva Lunny are Bella Union signees; the esteemed label founded by Cocteau Twins Simon Raymonde. Fellow Bella Union Label mates include Tim Burgess, Philip Selway of Radiohead, Father John Misty, and Fleet Foxes, Penelope Isles, John Grant, Ezra Furman, Flaming Lips, Lost Horizons, Wrangler, and Lanterns on the Lake, so we already know that these tastemakers are synonymous with quality. And we were not disappointed.  Raymonde tweeted that the first act, Eva Lunny, made ‘Beautiful music to drift away from reality…with her debut album coming soon on the Bella Union Private Pressing imprint; ‘ an exclusive, extremely limited edition private pressings, specially curated by Raymonde himself.

With just a harp, loop, and synth, Eva Lunny had us enchanted by layering her dreamy hypnotic, yet timelessly modern ambient riffs over spellbinding drones. There was something otherworldly about the music, something that put the planet on pause during her set, making you feel like you were floating with tracks like ‘You’ and ‘Improvised Lullaby’ the crowd were hushed in awe as she took us all on that ambient journey with her, the musical narrative laced with emotion. There were whoops of elation at the end as we had all been transported to another world.


The theme of floating away that we felt in Eva Lunny’s ambient set, was then the perfect place to set sail into headliner Sophie Jamieson’s world, where water appeared in various forms in both the lyrical and musical narrative. From overflowing bathtubs to the creeping ripples of a broken surface to the vast expanse of still water to lashing rain, we could feel the artist pushing and pulling against the tide from the depths of darkness towards ultimate salvation and hope. Although the themes were often dark, she juxtaposed this intensity with charm and wit in between songs and always pushed towards the light with cathartic honesty.

Sophie Jamieson has some high-profile fans including Sharon Van Etten who tweeted to Jamieson,” Your voice and songs are beautiful, ” to which Sophie replied, “Thank you so much…You are one of the biggest reasons I do this the way I do, you have exploded my tiny heart.” Jamieson has a jaw-droppingly rich and stunning voice that almost seemed too big for this tiny venue. You could imagine hearing her powerful vocals commanding a worldwide stage, all threaded with her skillful guitar licks, for which she went into a Hendrix-like trance to play whenever she stepped away from the mic. She made the guitar sing and emote every note. You could see her almost transformed as she played. We all appreciate that authenticity in an artist. I was also struck by how pitch-perfect and intense her voice was; darkly opulent in its emotive vibrato. You would have thought it would have been mixed like this in a studio. It was jaw-dropping to hear it coming naturally from one human. In such a small space there was nowhere to hide and nothing but raw talent fuelling the gig and I genuinely sat aghast for the first track wondering how the live vocals could sound even better than those from the studio.

It was soul-bearing and authentic. While some of the subject matter covered dark issues such as heartbreak, substance abuse, and balancing on the brink of despair, it was juxtaposed and enhanced by her charm and wit when introducing the tracks, showing the cathartic effect of the music.

She had the dark power, intensity, and humility of Patti Smith while echoing the vocals and lyrical skills of Cat Power, Sharon Van Etten, and Elena Tonra. There is a depth of strength and smoky richness to her voice that is all her own.  Her lyrics are poetic and visceral. Lines like, “You’re a woman and you’re only on Side-A / You still got the whole long play to twist,” could almost embody her career. Maybe Side B could represent a new chapter of success.

Throughout the set, even whilst she was up there alone, she was more than capable of filling the space musically. There were almost three equally brilliant and likeable personas present in her performance; the humility and wit displayed as she spoke between songs, the Hendrix-like emotive trance that she went into when she skilfully made her guitar feel every note and the opulent jaw-dropping vocals that had us all hypnotised. Jamieson shared that she wrote a break-up song years after the split revealing that she had stopped writing songs for four years after this heartbreak. Well, the world is a much better place with her music in it and we are honoured to be able to hear it.

As Jamieson moves with, or pushes against the darkness of the tide throughout the set, it is a soul-baring privilege to hear her reliving her cathartic journey through the darkness. Sophie Jamieson has a voice that deserves to be heard on the world stage; rich, powerful, smoky dark, and opulent. There is nowhere to hide in a venue as small as this and it is here where her raw talent shines through. At one point an audience member even shouted out, “We love you” and it sounds like she is in good company with fans like Van Etten and a room full of people who were spellbound by her vocal and lyrical prowess. Without darkness we would never see the stars.

Follow Sophie Jamieson here: home | Sophie Jamieson

Order her debut album Choosing out now via Bella Union: Bella Union – Bella Union Official Store (

Follow Eva Lunny: Stream evalunny music | Listen to songs, albums, playlists for free on SoundCloud

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