Singer/songwriter Sophie Ellis-Bextor, an English chart-topper for 15 years, released a new album on Sept. 2 including a song she wrote for Orlando in the wake of the Pulse nightclub shooting.
She told SFGN, “I joined the crowd of thousands who gathered in London’s gay neighborhood Soho for the vigil after the shooting. The London Gay Men’s chorus sang and balloons were released. It was hard to comprehend what had happened. It seemed that our whole world usually so busy and noisy came to a standstill to remember and honor the victims. Even though the song I wrote about it for my new album “Familia” is called “Death of Love,” its message is that love does not die. The sum of your life will always be who you love and who loves you.”
Ellis-Bextor who is raising her young children – she was pregnant while making “Familia” - in a city that is reasonably tolerant and inclusive, knows that her children are not insulated from terrible realities elsewhere.
She said, “My oldest son is twelve, so I can have a chat with him about things like this. I had to explain Orlando to him, telling him that not everyone is loving of others, and that some people are capable of evil. He may have little or no experience of it in his own home and neighborhood, but he will know that it does exist, and it must be part of what he learns about the world.”
Although her earliest popularity was in disco, Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s music continues to evolve, fearlessly adopting different styles. She said she is never sure what she will deliver next.
“I am not good at planning the music I will make, and that keeps the music exciting. For me, the pleasure of writing music is not analyzing where I am going. It’s more like throwing seeds in the garden. I am never quite sure what will spring up or what it will look like. “Familia” is quite different from my previous album “Wanderlust.” The earlier one was more folksy. This one is much more sunny. I think of the relationship between the two a bit like when you have children. The first child is generally a little more responsible and serious, and then the next one comes along and they’re more bolshy and extrovert. Same family, but they’ve got different traits.”
The songs on “Familia” are lush. In addition to the heartfelt “Death of Love,” the album includes a gorgeous love song “Here Comes The Rapture,” a classic and danceable “Wild Forever” that shouts “Remix!” and the enchanting “Hush Little Voices.” (Take note, Madonna, the song “Come With Us” distills everything wonderful in your own music.) Overall, “Familia” makes us wonder why we have not seen more of Sophie Ellis-Bextor in the USA.
She said, “I performed at New York City Pride a few years back with the Freemasons. I’ve been to Florida on holiday and I’d love to return.”
She performed in England at Manchester Pride this summer, and has two London shows scheduled for September. While hoping she will find time for a Florida show, listen to her new album “Familia.”