Montreal’s Sophia Bel talks debut album and playing Osheaga

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Montreal Rocks chats with local alt-pop artist SOPHIA BEL about her excellent debut LP Anxious Avoidant, released via Bonsound, how her sound and look keeps changing and getting to perform at this year’s Osheaga Festival. We also talk about some of her favourite music from her life and how she’s determined to make music on her own terms.

Watch the full interview below:

Born during the pandemic, Anxious Avoidant is inspired by the colourful and playful sounds of the early 2000s. The album marks a stylistic progression in the career of the Montreal-based artist and producer, who, for the first time, composed her songs armed solely with her guitar.

Anxious Avoidant is a vulnerable tale that gathers its force from Sophia Bel’s explosive energy, as she explores relationships and feelings set to the music influenced by her teenage years. Produced by Bel and Tim Buron (Charlotte Cardin, Loud), the album is filled with sweet ballads, empowering pop-punk anthems, and melodic guitar riffs.

Sophia Bel shares this about her album: “‘Anxious Avoidant’ is the most vulnerable body of work that I will have ever shared with the world. It is a collection of emotions and states of mind that are very honest and unfiltered. It expresses sides of myself that I am not always proud of. Looking back at what I wrote during the last year, I see myself projecting my hopes and dreams onto other mortal humans, I see a girl who seeks happiness outside of herself, I feel the infatuation that I mistook for real love. I also see how far I’ve come in learning to communicate, being vulnerable, setting boundaries and growing out of the victim mindset. When I was younger it was very comforting to have artists expressing their vulnerability, so in that sense, I hope you will relate to this open diary.”

Born in Michigan to a Québécois dad and a Dutch-American mom, Sophia Bel has always found her path through songs, from singing 90s classics when she was younger to now releasing her debut album. Figuring out that becoming a musician was her true calling when she was still a teenager, Sophia decided to take her career seriously and pursue her studies in music at Vanier College in Montréal, where she started an empowering path toward the artist she is today.

Sophia Bel found herself going back to her roots, one that is heavily influenced by the fresh pop of the early 00s, by emo-rock, and pop-punk of yesteryears. Prior to her debut album Anxious Avoidant, Sophal Bel shared 2019’s Princess of the Dead Vol. I and 2020’s Princess of the Dead Vol. II, which delves into her past experiences with wit, authenticity and refreshing candour. Bel had returned in June 2021 with “I Don’t Need My Space,” another fun, angsty early aughts-inspired jam that recalls Vol. II highlight “You’re Not Real You’re Just a Ghost.”

Sophia Bel will play Oshaeaga on Saturday 30 July.

Photo credit – William Arcand

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