Sophie Ellis-Bextor's New Album Mixes Russian Fairytales, Twin Peaks, and a Bulgarian Choir !

For Sophie Ellis-Bextor's fifth album, she's bravely decided to shed her electropop skin in favour of a genre that will come as a surprise to most: Eastern European-inspired chamber pop. With the album - aptly titled Wanderlust - out next week, we phoned up Sophie to find out how she feels about unleashing a new sound on her long-time fans and whether she'll ever return to dance music.


"I'm really excited about releasing this album. It's a different sound and I'm keen to hear what people think of it. I don't really feel nervous, it's my fifth album and I'm really proud of it. I'm at peace for wherever it finds itself in the world. I'm just looking forward to playing all the new songs live.

"The album was finished before even deciding to do Strictly Come Dancing, but I think I used the same part of my brain with it in that I wanted to do something different. It's inspired by doing all the stuff you can't do in dance music. I was inspired by my trips to Eastern Europe, by the Russian fairytales I read when I was little. Throw in some Twin Peaks, a Bulgarian choir and you have the album!

"I've been travelling to that part of the world for a while now and in many ways it feels quite untouched and exotic. Once me and my producer Ed [Harcourt] - who's a family friend - had stumbled upon this sound, it really struck a chord with us. Songs like 'Love Is A Camera' and '13 Little Dolls'... it was fun to explore that whimsical landscape. We were clear in our vision - I think there's only one song from the sessions that isn't on the album.

"It's my first proper album as an independent artist, and I don't think I'd ever have been allowed to make such a record under a big label. I'm hugely grateful for everything I got from Universal, but this album was a bit of a present to myself. I considered finding alternative ways to fund the album but ultimately I decided I wanted to do this myself. It was really liberating and felt quite grown up for me.

"I still have a dance album in me, for sure. I've always been a bit of a kid in a candy store with music, gorging on something and then suddenly moving on to something else. I started out as an indie artist then did dance with Groovejet. I always get stupidly excited by dance music, but I'm enjoying doing something different for now. I had to be strict that this album would be very different as I didn't see the point in doing it half-heartedly.

"I'm really not sure where I'll go from here if I'm honest. It's funny, it's the first time in ages where I'm not sure where I'll be in the next six months or with the next album. I'll be touring a lot as well, and it'll be interesting to see how we incorporate the dance songs with the new album. We start rehearsals this weekend and I literally cannot wait!"

Sophie Ellis-Bextor releases Wanderlust on January 20.

source