Introducing: Sophie Janna // Artist Of The Year

Introducing: Sophie Janna // Artist Of The Year

Almost a decade of me working in retail has led to a relatively aggressive hatred for Christmas music and its superficial happiness. It lifts me to a time filled with angry parents shouting at you because they’ve left their shopping until Christmas eve and can’t get what they want! So, what is it about Sophie Janna’s Fairy Lights that led to three nominations in our award show, including Songwriter of the Year and ultimately Artist of The Year, despite the track being a dreaded Christmas Song?

The first time I heard Fairy Lights I was captivated. I could imagine those rare moments in truly great live performances where everybody stops and cannot help but hang onto every word. The song, an ode to a loved one no longer with us, swims against the tide of hundreds of happy, contrived Christmas songs by singing from the heart and telling a truly compelling story. Its observation of joyful Christmas-goers and festive spirit, harshly contrasted by a true internal sadness, feels significantly more relatable for the typical listener than being told to have a ‘holly-jolly Christmas’ on repeat. 



The single, produced by Revanche Records, is perfectly created - balancing enough movement and layer-addition throughout the track to maintain an interesting and captivating soundscape, without overstepping the boundary or complicating the piece. The focus remains on Sophie’s unique and delicate vocals throughout, with gentle harmonies joining to reinforce the choruses. Even during the instrumental break, nothing steps beyond the backing soundscape, with a calm guitar solo continuing to create ambience while waiting for Sophie to re-join. 

Now, as we approach December, I feel an important question needs to be asked when discussing a Christmas song. After already saying on the podcast that this was one of my favourite songs I’ve ever heard, it made me wonder… Could Fairy Lights be argued as one of the great Christmas songs? 

Realistically, probably not. The only reason for this is in the definition and categorisation of a Christmas Song - which in my opinion should be something unapologetically positive and festive. However as a veteran from the Retail-War of the Holidays, this is the very thing about Christmas music that brings me such displeasure. For this reason Fairy Lights will be my go-to when I’m told to put on “something festive”, and will remain as my unique gem as the not only tolerable, but beautiful Christmas song that introduced me to Sophie Janna.

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