NEW FROM EUROPE

June 8, 2009 – 4:17 am

From Switzerland comes a no-nonsense young rock singer-songwriter.

Click on the panels for a better view or to download artwork.

SOPHIE HUNGER
Zurich 2008 [no label 1CD]

Live at the JazzNoJazz Festival, Theaterhaus Gessnerallee, Zurich, October 29, 2008. Swiss Radio DRS3 broadcast, October 29, 2008. Excellent FM stereo.

“Like a young Polly Harvey she’s hard to ignore. There’s an element of force to this album. This is an obsessive, spooky and beautiful album.”
- Mojo UK, April ‘09 on Monday’s Ghost.

“How did staid old Zurich produce someone like her?
It’s not quite so staid these days - the DVD included in the UK release of Monday’s Ghost shows her busking and drinking in various areas of what the Swiss consider their hippest city. And Hunger had an international upbringing thanks to her parents’ jobs (her mother was general secretary of the Swiss People’s Party and her father is a diplomat).”

- The Guardian, UK.

Switzerland like $ingapore is a little country surrounded by big neighbours. Its pop culture like $ingapore’s is rather bland. In the mid-’80s, the Swiss punk-indie scene thrived on the margins but never caught on. But something is stirring in the land of cheese, cuckoo clocks and Swiss bank accounts. A fast unravelling secret, a folk-pop-blues singer named Sophie Hunger [born in 1983], is making European heads turn.

The 25-year-old singer-songwriter is gifted with a head full of tunes and a band of talented instrumentalists. There’s the inclusion of a trombone player in Michael Flury, listen to him growl in Marketplace; multi-instrumentalist Christian Prader, drummer Julian Sartorius and bassist Balz Bachmann finish up the quintet.

Prader offers sonic variety to Hunger’s songs with some nice harp work on the folky Birthday and a great piano riff on Rise And Fall, a song about the yin and yang of empires. But the band’s main attraction is Sophie Hunger’s songs and her singing. This is no choir girl stuff or SoCal soft rock but a rebel voice. Songs like Round And Round suggest there’s unease in tidy Switzerland. She may have started out in her bedroom and recorded her first album in her living room but these days, Hunger is much in demand.

She was invited to perform at the Miles Davis Hall at the Montreux Jazz Festival last July. Later in October, she released her first studio album, Monday’s Ghost. Seven of the songs performed live at this show in Zurich are also from that album. The inclusion of Irma Thomas’ Ruler Of My Heart adds interpreter to Hunger’s talents.

In contrast, the “best thing” $heep City, $ingapore currently has to offer is a Taiwan-signed, join-the-dots singer called Stephanie Sun. Sun appears regularly for advertisers to help sell rice, jewelry and whatever else. Montreux for Sun? She’ll sing the $ingapore national anthem when requested. ‘Nuff said.

The FM broadcast is excellent with very clear and distinct bass and high notes. This was recorded, edited and shared at dimeadozen.org by zingapoor. The setlist was identified by galsto. Big thanks to both of them.
- The Little Chicken

Note: Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (these are high quality MP3s - sample rate of 192 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

Due to the size of some of the files, please be very patient when downloading the tracks. It could be that the server was very busy. Please try again later. Kindly email us at [email protected] if you encounter persistent problems downloading the files.

Track 01. Drainpipes * (5.4MB)
Track 02. The Boat Is Full * (4.5MB)
Track 03. House Of Gods * (5.1MB)
Track 04. Marketplace (5.5MB)
Track 05. Talk & Band Intro (3.9MB)
Track 06. Birth-Day * (4.6MB)
Track 07. Round And Round * (6.8MB)
Track 08. Citylights (8.1MB)
Track 09. Rise And Fall * (16.3MB)
Track 10. Spiegelbild * (5.8MB)
Track 11. Ruler Of My Heart  [Irma Thomas cover] (5.0MB)
[51:44m]

* These tracks are songs found on her Monday’s Ghost album.

Lineup:
Sophie Hunger: g, v
Christian Prader: fl, p, g, harp, v
Julian Sartorius: dr
Balz Bachmann: b
Michael Flury: trb
Kutti MC (aka Jürg Halter): reading part of Rise And Fall

Monday’s Ghost is Hunger’s first commercial album in 2008. It’s success led Universal Jazz in Europe to distribute the album in 2009. Buy it here.

  1. 11 Responses to “NEW FROM EUROPE”

  2. Thanks for sharing this.

    There has never been much to proud of here in Switzerland, musically, but Sophie is just wonderful.

    By Neige on Jun 15, 2009

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