Sophia Knapp is painfully charming. “I wanna rock people’s socks off,” she tells me upon being asked what are her plans for 2012. “My band is, like, pretty cool cats,” she tells me at another point. Sophia Knapp isn’t your average platinum from Brooklyn… although she may be my favorite.
If Sophia Knapp’s name sounds familiar, it’s likely because she’s one third of NYC indie pop outfit Cliffie Swan (formerly Lights… the band, not that electro chick). The last I heard from Knapp was Memories Come True, the band’s third LP, which dropped in June of 2011 and which your humble narrator described as “Likely the most flowery thing to hit my CD player this year, but also has the swagger of 70s rock and quite a few psychedelic enhancements.” However, since then, Ms. Knapp has ventured out (musically speaking) on her lonesome, spending the past year playing and recording the songs found on Into the Waves, her solo debut, which hits shelves today, courtesy of Drag City.
Knapp tells me that a solo career has been in her mind for a while now: “I was constantly writing songs and they needed a different treatment. Lights/Cliffie Swan is very much a band and we write together.” While Cliffie Swan’s sound is largely guitar-driven, Knapp says that her solo work has given her the opportunity to toy with some different styles: “I was experimenting with sequences and writing on piano… I’m concentrating on my singing more.” The songs on Into the Waves are said to have been “Written on planes, trains, while listening to rain, and drinking too much champagne.” Knapp describes the album as “Pretty funky… and there are some ballads. It’s pretty smooth… kind of slinky.”
According to Knapp, the music has “Been received very lovingly so far,” although it’s, thus far, been confined to those who have made it out to her local live performances of the past year. As of right now she has a Feb. 29th (free!) gig at Sway (NYC) and an Apr. 24th gig at the Bowery Ballroom (NYC), but she promises more are in the works and that she’s especially looking out for a Philly date, so virtually hit her up, if you’d like to hear her new sounds in-person.