Sheffield is full of giants of the music world, from Bring Me the Horizon, Arctic Monkeys to Reverend and the Makers and most recently Sophie and the Giants. Launching to the scene in early 2018 with huge single ‘Monsters’, front-woman Sophie Scott and Jon McClure of Reverend and Makers collectively wrote the hit, and have established a writing pair which has helped catapult Sophie and her band into the limelight with their debut EP release ‘Adolescence’ in late October 2018.
With tour friends including that of Reverend and the Makers, Findlay and lately singer/songwriter Tom Grennan, Sophie and the Giants have reached audiences across the UK and Europe which they never thought they would, capturing the hearts of music fans along the way. Sophie recalls their first ever performance as a band in a “really terrible” men’s club in Camberley. It housed a wooden dance floor in the middle and there were only 10 people in the room. Her Dad used to film their performances as it was a way to play back their performances and hone their sound and look. She mentions how the band revisited these videos recently and how surprising it was to view how far they’ve progressed in such a short space of 2 years.
It’s clear that since their Camberley days they have come a very long way as people and as musicians. Taking the first half of 2017 to write solidly and hone their sound; the band which features college friends Sophie (vocals and guitar), Chris Hill (drums), Bailey Stapledon (bass) and Toby Holmes (guitar) have meticulously developed a unique blend of soaring vocal melodies, funky bass, thumping drum beats and powerful lyrics which are both thought provoking and personal. Their time spent hidden away writing with Jon helped elevate them as a band when it came to releasing; as they built a huge collection of tracks which were just itching to be heard.
With a ton of songs in the bank and a live performance Blondie would be proud of, Sophie and the Giants entered 2018 with huge single ‘Monsters’, co-written with Jon (the Reverend) and has slowly became a concrete fan favourite in their live set. Jumping forward 6 months or so, their debut EP ‘Adolescence’ which emerged late October 2018 has been received with rapturous acclaim from fans and critics alike.
When asked what their favourites are to play live from the release, Chris (drummer) “has a bit of fun” on bombastic single ‘Bulldog’, Sophie claims, saying that “it’s an instrumental thing”. However Bailey’s favourite is ‘Space Girl’, a funky number which gives him chance to play with the energy of the bass parts during their live shows. ‘Waste My Air’ however is a strong dose of pop from their latest release which sees Sophie speaking from personal experience; launching lyrics to help empower herself and others to reach out and take control of an unhealthy relationship.
Sophie recalls being taken aback by fans asking for autographs on the backs of their phones after the shows in Europe when supporting Tom Grennan, a sign that their meticulous planning and courageous song-writing has paid off. A triumphant headline date in the Capital’s Waiting Room back in October saw the band play to a sold out audience. “[It] was quite refreshing as we thought it would only be our parents and our friends there” Sophie recalls, “but I think the touring paid off a lot”. She also explains that a few people jumped on stage with her to dance during the last song, adding an extra layer of intimacy to their first headline date, and has helped create a personal connection with their fanbase.
“I just wake up and stick on a vinyl, I just love the texture of it”, Sophie tells me. The prolific vinyl listener aims to have their debut EP released physically in the new year. As a band, they have a massive collection, and as the band members used to all live together, they would lend each other’s. “I have a lot of Blondie because I’m a Blondie superfan”, Sophie explains, “I also have some Arctic Monkeys, Fleetwood Mac and some random ones as well as sometimes I just buy something because it looks kind of cool and I’ve never heard of it before”. “It’s a nice surprise”, she says.
A refreshing and exuberant taste of youthful pop, 3 tracker ‘Adolescence’ sees Sophie and the Giants demand attention which lyrics such as “are you under attack?”, Sophie asks during hit ‘Bulldog’ before launching into an energetic and bombastic chorus. “You shouldn’t mess with a Bulldog” Sophie yearns, but we as the listener are left thinking, is the Bulldog a metaphor for the band? We may have just gained another Bulldog in Sophie and the Giants; with their sheer determination and life in their performances making them a force to be reckoned with coming into 2019, watch out.
Photographer: Doh Lee / Abeiku Arthur
Stylist: Felly Ting Chok/ Deyasini Biswas
MUA: Lou Dartford
Hair Stylist: Brady Lea