Sophie Lockhart, “All Along.” (Photo: Contributed)
Cleveland musician Sophie Lockhart is a storyteller, one who uses her experiences to fashion grand emotional statements that resonate in the deepest hollows of our bones. Originally from Kettering, Ohio, she is a student at (soon to be a graduate of) Lee University whose work finds its roots branching into a handful of aesthetics. In the time since she began performing, she’s been involved with wind ensembles and big band jazz collaborations, as well as the usual pop-rock/singer-songwriter environments that caught her attention.
And it’s precisely this broad range of influences and associations that give her music such a distinct and unique feel—she doesn’t cling to the vestiges of any single aesthetic but gladly welcomes a whole host of sounds into her work. By taking the framework of a singer-songwriter and imbuing it with the wild eclecticism of jazz, pop, rock and orchestration movements, she subverts any expectations people might have about her music and offers up something completely personal and complex in the way it addresses ideas and experiences.
On her latest single, “All Along,” she crafts a delicate but resolute atmosphere where folk tendencies brush up against subtle orchestral flourishes and gospel hand claps. This is the kind of song that’s easily given a religious perspective but really deals with more of a general comfort and release. But God is in there somewhere, I’m sure. Her voice is persuasive and conveys a deep reservoir of emotion, the kind of raw nerve revelations and personal insight that can only come from having gone through some difficult times and survived to pass on your own history.
Described as “a song for anyone who has ever struggled with the hardships of life,” this track digs into the harsh realities of the world and offers advice that cuts to the heart of our connections with one another. We are not alone. And whether you believe in some higher power or just the innate goodness of people, there is someone or something there to help you through the dark parts of the day. And with “All Along,” Lockhart shows us that when things seem at their grimmest, we can simply look to our friends, family and whatever divinity touches your heart to find the encouragement we need.
Joshua Pickard covers local and national music, film and other aspects of pop culture. You can contact him on Facebook, Twitter or by email. The opinions expressed in this column belong solely to the author, not Nooga.com or its employees.