Listen: Sophie Hunger, “Your Personal Religion”

Sophie Hunger hails from Switzerland but lives in London. This week, the U.S. label Manimal, which has become somewhat of an institution for releasing music from some of the finest L.A. ladies (Warpaint, Papercranes, Juliette Commagere) will release Sophie Hunger. The tracks on the album are actually a sampling of Hunger’s work from two previous European-only releases. “Your Personal Religion” starts like a contemporary folk song with repetitive down-strokes on acoustic guitar. “Tight jeans, sun cream, spirituality,” she sings, making it quite clear she’s not talking about her grandmother’s religious experience. The tune then finds Hunger exploring an unexpected and crushingly harsh sonic territory, before winding back to the acoustic foundation. The four-and-a-half minute track takes a turn for sublime, folky minimalism in a mid-section before building into an anthem: “it’s never gonna die, it’s never gonna die,” sings Hunger over the building final chorus. On “Religion,” Hunger shows she can pack a huge range of sound and emotion in just one track – and somehow she makes the whole thing seamless.