Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Sophie Lloyd intrigues on Imposter Syndrome

Sophie Lloyd has been making musical waves ever since she began sharing her guitar prowess via her YouTube channel … 2.5 million followers suggest a lasting talent is awaiting discovery by the rest of the world.

Although Sophie leans toward the shred end of guitar playing, I have always thought there is more depth than the hundreds of other shredders out there. Sure, she can shred hard and fast and fill a million marmalade jars without turning a hair, but the feel that underlies the speed is apparent if you listen closely. There is genius in her rhythm guitar playing and a number of discernible genre colours even in her heaviest work. Her Delusions EP gave an insight into her talent and the new album, Imposter Syndrome, despite the star-studded guest appearances, shows her growing and evolving into an artist to be lauded in her own right and, hopefully, the shred label will not prevent the widdle-free guitar aficionados buying into her unique style. (I know she spent some time as guitarist with Machine Gun Kelly but his style is anathema to me and so I admit to not listening to Sophie’s contribution.)

On this new album, Sophie’s talents are thankfully not buried by the guests and, throughout, she is the star but with some major backing. Take the Priestly salvo of ‘Do Or Die’ with Nathan James of Inglorious lending his considerable lungs… melodic riffing with some neat and excellent phrasing on the guitar elevating the whole thing. It typifies for me, the artistry of Sophie – complex, accessible and never overdone. The title track brings the Halestorm touch – unsurprising as Lzzy Hale does her usual mesmerising job on a class slice of rock with emotions piled high from voice and guitar. If you do want shred, then the Matthew K. Heafy fronted ‘Fall Of Man’ or the instrumental, ‘Lost’, shows how to combine melody with guitar histrionics rather than flash for the sake of it.

My current favourite has to be the Michael Starr of Steel Panther fronted ‘Runaway’ which has every heavy rock box ticked most impressively.

The message is, if you don’t favour shredding, you’ll like this… if you do favour shredding, you will like this… heavy, melodic rock of a standard that blows many of Sophie’s contemporaries out of the water. The downside is minor – so many guests make for a slightly unbalanced set, but then when you listen to the guitar playing, that fades into insignificance and the album deserves to launch Sophie to a wider audience.

Imposter Syndrome is released on 10th November 2023.

Tom Dixon
Tom Dixon
North East born, South West domiciled music lover - mainly heavy rock & blues but not averse to other genres. I'm fortunate to have retired early & I can now take full advantage of the 40+ years I have spent collecting, listening, watching & playing (badly) & have enjoyed researching how blues in particular has shaped the music we know & love today. Now if only I could get my Strat & Musicman to sound in reality how they do in my head!

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