New-wave newcomer Sophie Mahon prepares to release the eclectic new album ‘Bogart’s Eyes’. Inspired by the likes of Roxy Music, Duran Duran and David Bowie, ‘Bogarts Eyes’ is an album that is full of sonically alluring twists and turns from the offset. Sophie combines nostalgic synth-infused elements of the 80s with modern sensibilities in order to create a sound that is undeniably charming and infectious as a result.
‘Bogart’s Eyes’ is exactly what it says on the tin, it’s inspired by the 1940s icon/legend Humphrey Bogart.
“I got into his films a couple of years ago and got a big hit of inspiration, writing a song for each film I watched.”
What does the album’s title reveal?
“I hope the title ‘Bogart’s Eyes’ highlights the forgotten side of the 40s actor/icon Humphrey Bogart, as well as just pointing out that obviously the album has something to do with him. His eyes are one of my favourite things about him – they are the aspect of his acting that could put across anything, showing a range of emotions as well as determining whether he looks like a cold hearted killer or a soft romantic, and he could switch between the two so easily.”
“He is always remembered as being a tough guy because of all his gangster roles but he was actually a very kind, gentle and sentimental person – from the stories about him and you can see the way he looks at his wife, Lauren Bacall, in photos; he can’t take his eyes off her, he was smitten till the day he died.”
Is there a consistent lyrical style through the album? Is it a concept album?
“There isn’t necessarily a consistent lyrical style, I wrote each song about one of his films as I discovered him – I was actually trying to push myself and was just using it as songwriting practice, not thinking that anything good would come out of it, but then I was left with 9 great songs.”
“It is a concept album, it is from a fan’s point of view. I almost used it to document my discovery of a new hero. I had the same feeling I had when I discovered Bryan Ferry/Roxy Music, so I knew Bogart would have a big impact on me.”
“Each song looks at film from a different angle – every fan has a favourite thing about a film; whether that be a scene, a line, a character or the storyline, so each song is about my favourite part of that film. It’s about the way these things fill your head for days, even in your dreams. For example ‘Sam’ is about my crush on Bogie’s character ‘Sam Spade’ in The Maltese Falcon, and the way we all get crushes on characters, and we know it can’t go anywhere but we love them all the same. Whereas ‘Saharan Skies’ is about a dream I had after watching the war film ‘Sahara’, it hasn’t got much connection to the film apart from the character and desert but the dream was so beautiful I had to write it down.”
“There is also an intro/outro that, if you had the whole album on loop, should blend into each other, implying that, like in ‘Casablanca’, it is “easy to enter but much harder to leave”. It is also a metaphor for when you discover a new obsession and you are quite happily stuck in it.”
Are you planning any videos for your music?
“There is a stop motion animation planned for the second single and title track ‘Bogart’s Eyes’, which is already out. Unfortunately the video is a bit delayed but it should be out very soon, so watch this space. The song is inspired by the Bogie and Bacall classic ‘Dark Passage’, so the video takes inspiration from that film too. It also uses the full length album version of the song.”
‘Bogart’s Eyes’ will be out on 1st October. You can pre-save here. 10% of physical release sales will go towards Cancer Research UK and Royal Navy & Royal Marine Charity and the album was funded by public funding from The National Lottery through Art Council England.