Philine Sonny Takes Us For A Ride On New Invader EP [EP Review]

Kieran Kohorst
Nico Kramer

With time, the cliché goes that it's not how much we have but rather how we use it. The impressions we make often form quicker than we’d like, and we can fall into the trap of trying to catch up to ourselves in the finite time allowed to us. On her new EP Invader, German-born artist Philine Sonny is at once immediate and expansive, sure not to waste her time while remaining patient with her intentions. Things move at her pace across the 5 song project, anchored by lead single “Take a While.” True to its name, the track unfurls as its narrative forms, ballooning from a measured instrumental to an emphatic chorus, a momentum that carries Sonny through the rest of the song. On a project where time is of the essence, she uses hers expertly, and at her own discretion.

By the time you’ve reached “Take a While” on the tracklist, Sonny will have developed a ripening connection with the listener, courtesy of her ever-so-relatable lyrics and the reach-out-and-grab-you catchiness of her hooks. Opening track “Drugs” is an infectious introduction, decisively leading into the driving cynicism of “In Denial.” The latter’s messaging resonates with Sonny’s lessons learned in making this music: “It doesn’t hide the pain that comes with hopeful, youthful persistence being overshadowed by the realization that some things just aren’t meant to be. It’s also a reminder that being mad is a necessary step in learning how to stand up for yourself,” she explains. 

Rounding out the EP are two of Sonny’s most gentle tracks, “Stranger in Your Living Room” and “Lovely.” It is in these instances that Sonny’s voice is most lush, eased by her careful contemplation that reveals itself in her writing. While an air of romanticism overwhelms most of “Lovely,” the ballad develops into a more vocally and emotionally raw expression with the sudden addition of guitars and drums to end the project with a sense of adrenaline. It’s an intense and effective shift, short-lived as it is. What is evident at the conclusion of Invader is not how much time the music held, but the significant moments within each song that accentuated the music and made the most of those precious seconds. Philine Sonny knows how to pick her moments, and it seems as if she’s having one for herself as one of the alt scene’s most dynamic songwriters.

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