sophie ellis bextor confirmed for westport (ireland) 2014 | 05-02
Twelve months ago, when Sophie Ellis-Bextor set about making her fifth album Wanderlust, she had no reason to believe this last year would be exceptionally different to any other. Having spent over a decade finessing her pop vision over four albums – in the process selling over five million records – Sophie might have been forgiven for adhering to the old adage about not fixing what wasn’t broken in the first place.
There were no prime-time TV dance contests on the horizon; no great masterplan beyond another album of songs that could square up to career high-points such as Groovejet (If This Ain’t Love), Murder On The Dancefloor, Take Me Home and Catch You. Amid the infinite choices that await at the beginning of any creative undertaking, however, there was a single intuition. Closing her previous album Make A Scene was Cut Straight To The Heart – a song cowritten with one of her favourite singer-songwriters Ed Harcourt. Why not pick up where they left off?
For Sophie, Wanderlust represents a welcome, if unplanned, squaring of the circle. Before the solo career, before pop stardom, before ad campaigns in glossy magazines and, yes, before Strictly, there was a music fan who had her head turned by songwriters who believed in albums as something more than a collection of pop songs. It’s taken her a long time to get around to making a record which aspires to the same values. With change comes an element of risk. But Sophie Ellis-Bextor is absolutely fine with that: “If you’re out there, you’ve got to earn your right to be relevant. I’ve got no desire to rest on my laurels. There has to be some sense of forward motion.”