Soko discusses new album, crazy concerts

Nina Jang, Contributing Writer

Soko, the French self-taught phenomenon behind the hit single “We Might be Dead by Tomorrow,” performed a special in-store performance at American Apparel in Williamsburg on Oct. 27. After consecutive shows on Oct. 24 and 25 opening for Foster the People in Manhattan, the performance was a pleasant, low-key break. Soko spoke with WSN via email about her new album, her inspirations and the current tour.

As a nod to her embrace of quirky projects with friends, Soko performed songs from her upcoming album “Dreams Dictate My Reality.” Evolving from her first album, “I Thought I Was an Alien,” Soko recorded more upbeat songs in collaboration with Ross Robinson, who produced The Cure’s self-titled 2004 album and many other rock records.

“The new album is a lot more gothy-dreamy-punky,” Soko said. “The goal was for it to sound like an early Cure record, or at least capture this raw vibe and crazy guitar and bass tones.”

Drawing from influences such as Robert Smith and Morrissey, as well as adding themes of abandonment, depression and death, Soko describes her music as a mosaic of goth dreams. The different take on her new music, however, stems from the difficulty of constantly singing such stripped-down and emotionally exhausting songs from her first album.

“I’ve been on tour for three weeks now and playing new songs every night, and it’s been so fun and refreshing,” Soko said. “I can’t wait to put this record out so people can actually hear the songs.”

Soko has toured with her friends and fellow musicians, Foster the People, with whom she co-wrote a new song on their album.

“It’s been nothing but pure awesomeness,” Soko said. “What’s always surprising is meeting fans after shows telling me, ‘This song has changed my life.’ Surprisingly enough, it has happened almost every night.”

Soko brings her own distinct energy to each show, sometimes in ways that not even she expects.

“On three shows, in tiny art spaces or record stores or cool indie venues, I got the whole crowd — men and women — to take off their tops and dance like crazy people,” Soko said. “And that was incredible, so freeing and fun and memorable for life.”

As for future projects, Soko plans to do more touring, but will be kept busy with the lead roles in four feature films, one of which will be “Worthy.” On top of all that, Soko will be directing her own music videos, a tradition that she has adamantly stood by since her first album. Needless to say, Soko will be busy in the near future.

A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, Oct. 28th print edition. Email Nina Jang at [email protected].