Sophie Auster
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Sophie Auster

New York, New York, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2008 | INDIE

New York, New York, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2008
Solo Alternative Pop

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Mar
23
Sophie Auster @ Teatro del Mercado

Zaragoza, Aragon, Spain

Zaragoza, Aragon, Spain

Feb
15
Sophie Auster @ Rockwood Music Hall

New York, New York, United States

New York, New York, United States

Jan
23
Sophie Auster @ Ludlow House

New York, New York, United States

New York, New York, United States

Oct
08
Sophie Auster @ The Roxy Hotel

New York, New York, United States

New York, New York, United States

Sep
08
Sophie Auster @ Jinjiang Inn Beijing Jiuxianqiao

北京市, Beijing, China

北京市, Beijing, China

Mar
09
Sophie Auster @ Super Happy Fun Land

Houston, Texas, United States

Houston, Texas, United States

Jan
29
Sophie Auster @ The Hotel Cafe

LOS ANGELES, California, United States

LOS ANGELES, California, United States

Jan
20
Sophie Auster @ Rockwood Music Hall

New York, New York, United States

New York, New York, United States

Dec
12
Sophie Auster @ Billboard Lounge at Barclays Center

New York, United States

New York, United States

Nov
27
Sophie Auster @ Kantine

Augsburg, Bavaria, Germany

Augsburg, Bavaria, Germany

Nov
25
Sophie Auster @ Loppen

New York, United States

New York, United States

Nov
24
Sophie Auster @ Scandic Grand Hotel

Örebro, Västmanland, Sweden

Örebro, Västmanland, Sweden

Nov
18
Sophie Auster @ Silencio

Paris, New York, United States

Paris, New York, United States

Nov
16
Sophie Auster @ sala radar

New York, United States

New York, United States

Nov
15
Sophie Auster @ El Sótano

Madrid, New York, United States

Madrid, New York, United States

Nov
14
Sophie Auster @ Casino de la Exposición

Sevilla, New York, United States

Sevilla, New York, United States

Nov
05
Sophie Auster @ Bar Matchless

Brooklyn, New York, United States

Brooklyn, New York, United States

Oct
17
Sophie Auster @ Rockwood Music Hall

New York, New York, United States

New York, New York, United States

Sep
30
Sophie Auster @ Pianos

New York, New York, United States

New York, New York, United States

Sep
26
Sophie Auster @ Troubadour

West Hollywood, California, United States

West Hollywood, California, United States

Sep
24
Sophie Auster @ Bimbo's 365

California, United States

California, United States

Sep
22
Sophie Auster @ Doug Fir Restaurant and Lounge

Portland, Oregon, United States

Portland, Oregon, United States

Sep
21
Sophie Auster @ Neumos

Seattle, Washington, United States

Seattle, Washington, United States

Sep
12
Sophie Auster @ Berlin

Berlin, New York, United States

Berlin, New York, United States

Aug
25
Sophie Auster @ Gansevoort Meatpacking NYC

New York, New York, United States

New York, New York, United States

Music

Press


When Sophie Auster was 8, she sang her first choir solo, “Rise Oh Children Rise,” in front of the entire third-grade class. As she tells it, one girl’s terror was another girl’s treasure: The thrill of performing, and an early exposure to soft-rock classics (“I was always listening to Neil Sedaka and Connie Francis with my Tisch School babysitter”) led the Brooklyn native down a natural singer-songwriter path. Now Auster, 27, has released her second full-length album, “Dogs and Men” (Out Loud Music), comprised of 11 songs that meld sultry, folksy vocals with soul- (and teeth-) baring lyrics, a stylistic trademark that’s drawn comparisons to Fiona Apple and Gillian Welch. The title references a strong split in subject matter: dogs for dream imagery and poetry; men for her first wrestle with heartbreak. “I was struck by how pure the pain was. You get sad, and then you get angry,” she says, describing these studio sessions as a form of self-therapy.

Take “Bad Manners,” a song about revenge. In both the lyrics and the Beastie Boys-inspired music video, which premieres exclusively here on T, Auster creates satire from an annoying stalker situation, starring as both the tear-streaked, hysterical ex-girlfriend and a trio of stereotypical male types (the playboy, the artist, the hipster). “It wouldn’t have the same effect if it was a girl chasing after some handsome guy,” she explains, “I wanted everyone to be ridiculous, so it evens the playing field on the whole sex thing.” A considerable thought coming from the daughter of two equally prominent writers, Paul Auster and Siri Hustvedt, who she admits give brutally honest feedback on her work. As to whether she has any literary ambition herself: “Maybe when I’m an old lady, I’ll want to write a book. Never say never.” - The New York TImes


Sophie's VoiceSEE PHOTOSAuster wears Chloe jumper and pants; Luis Morais ring; her own hat.




Sophie's Voice
Songstress Sophie Auster releases her sophomore album.
June 9, 2015 8:00 AM | by Karin Nelson
Photography by Lianna Tarantin
Styled by Sam Walker
Sophie Auster was a freshman at Sarah Lawrence College, in New York, when she recorded her first album—a self-titled compilation of sexy, soulful songs inspired by the French surrealist poems that her father, the author Paul Auster, had translated into English early in his career. Conceived as a pet project, Sophie’s record ended up being released on a French label, turning the Brooklyn native, whose mother is the novelist Siri Hustvedt, into a budding star by graduation day. It was then that her father offered some lasting advice. “He said, ‘Make sure you write every day, and write as many songs as you can,’ ” recalls Auster, 27. Her latest album, Dogs and Men (out June 9), is culled from the abundant material she has produced since then. The opening track, “Bad Manners,” a spiteful torch song, was inspired by a recent relationship that went south. “A Dream About Jack” is a soaring folk track about her childhood dog and the strange visions she’s had of him. “I’m influenced a lot by dreams,” she says. “I tend to just rip off my subconscious.” - W Magazine


I know Sophie Auster from college - we both attended an elite liberal arts school, nestled in the safe embrace of Westchester, NY. We both paged through leather-bound copies of Barthes and Mann and sipped fair-trade coffee in hushed screenings of Bunuel and Godard. I'm still embarrassed, actually.

Since then, she's gone on to pursue a music career, first with Brooklyn's One Ring Zero, and now she's out on her own, crafting introspective folk-rock that would make Fiona Apple jealous. Most people get distracted by the fact that she's the daughter of Siri Hustvedt and Paul Auster, and you can imagine how annoying that must get after a certain point. She's very much her own force, and has proved as much through her music, her self-titled 2005 debut, and the slew of indie films she's acted in.

So when Sophie reached out and asked us if we'd premiere her new single, I jumped on it. Go Gryphons!

Here's a stream and download of "Run Run Run," the first track on Red Weather, her upcoming release on Lost Colony:
The other day I sat down with Sophie to chat about writing, nostalgia, and the upcoming release of her new record:



Noisey: So I haven't seen you in a while, probably since college. What have you been up to since then? I remember you were touring in Europe all through school.
Sophie Auster: Yeah, that was of those really really lucky things that I didn’t even realize how lucky it was at the time. I’d go over there and play some really big shows, and it was just me and One Ring Zero, two guys from Brooklyn. It was pretty wild when your eighteen and a freshman in college, it was a very strange experience, but when it died down I knew I really wanted to do my own album. Since then it’s just been trying to figure out how to do that. So throughout college I just started writing a lot and taking stabs at performing here and there and writing with different people.

What are your ideal conditions for writing?
I actually write pretty well in transit. I write on the train. I write pretty well in cars. Sometimes when I'm watching old movies I like to write down some of the phrases and work from there.

Have you seen anything good lately?
Yeah, I was watching a movie with my mom last night called "Shadow Of Doubt." Not Hitchcock's "Shadow Of A Doubt," but a movie from 1934 about a guy who falls in love with an actress and then the producer gets killed. It's a murder mystery comedy sort of thing.

So you just focus on the phrasings and euphemisms and what not?
Yeah I think anything can kind of inspire something whether it’s one phrase from 1934 or a bad mood or going to a museum, whatever it is. Like in the film last night, people kept saying "have a million laughs!" Nobody says that anymore.

Do you think that the 30s were a better decade for art and music?
I think even if you look back to some of the work that was coming out in say the 30s to the 70s, there was a cultural language that was on a different level. There was a way of making things that you couldn’t do now.

Personally, I get really sick of the nostalgia trip. I don't think that kids in any other generation were looking at their parents music and art and saying "Man, they did it so much better back then."
Yeah, well, I always say a C-movie from 1950 is an A-movie today. They just turned out better things back then. I think that the kind of music that I’m making is definitely current, there is something current about it. But it's an eclectic mix of the things I’ve listened to and grew up doing. Natural influences, subconscious things that have come together in the aesthetic I’m trying to build. I grew up singing a lot of Gershwin and standards, things like that. I listened to a lot of Roberta Flack, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, and these kind of female singers. Their voices influenced me a lot.Then I got this 60s compilation with a lot of girl groups, and the Beatles, and then it was Neil Young, Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits. And the Fiona Apple record that I listened to non-stop when I was 12

Do you find the current state of the music industry depressing?
Yes, definitely. There's just too much out there, there’s too much to chose from. That can be a good thing sometimes when you discover people who are just independently putting themselves out, but at the same time I feel like things just get lost in obscurity and theres nothing to give anyone a platform. I think that’s really tough, all of the sudden you’re competing with people who are YouTube stars and have a million hits. I actually met with a couple labels and I had put up some demos and they said “You only got a hundred hits in a day? Nuh Uh. No one’s gonna even look at that, we want people who're already established and have created their own fan base.”

Isn’t that the labels' job though?
That’s my point. Traditionally that’s the labels job but there’s no real nurturing an artist anymore it’s kind of grabbing onto a sure thing and elevating it. And that makes a lot of the work at the forefront pretty disappointing. There’s just so much garbage out there. It’s a cultural problem with everything that is being given to people right now,. The movies we watch are so over-stimulated, it’s like all these images going bam! bam! bam! It’s so quick. Plus people are watching the most disgusting television being shown right now, like Real Housewives or whatever.

OK, let's talk about something more fun. Can you tell me a little about Red Weather?
Yeah. This turned into a real love and loss record, which is not something I anticipated. I always thought that I wrote about quirky things and tried to be a storyteller rather than a breakup songs artist, but it really turned into that. It boils down to a love and loss record.

Were you bummed when you made it?
I was angry and sad at different times. I generally find that anger and sadness are pretty good inspirations for writing. You get a cathartic experience. If you’re making music and you don’t channel it into something, than what is it good for?

Do you feel connected to New York City at all with your music?
Yeah for sure, I grew up here and haven’t lived anywhere else. But I speak pretty good French and I feel like New York is kind of the exception in America for Europe. I don’t really feel like an expert, I feel like I blend in well. But Brooklyn is becoming a weirder and weirder thing. Now the French are talking about "Brooklyn Cuisine." Like “Ah, the Brooklyn cuisine is the best, there’s such good food in Brooklyn!” I brought two French friends to a pizza spot and they thought it was the best food ever. I guess everyone is fascinated with the foreign: if that's a burger and fries then hey, why not.



Red Weather is out on November 13 through Lost Colony. You can pre-order it right here. And if you're in New York, Sophie is playing the roof of the Standard East Village on Sunday, November 11. Follow her on Twitter for info on how to RSVP. - Noisy


Sophie Auster is not the kind of singer likely to come up too often. Like a cross between Fiona Apple's righteous rage and Gillian Welch's homespun folk yarns, her bittersweet alto's deft sense of delivery is a shot to the skull, wrapped up in some of the most alluring, seductive torch songs you're liable to find in the city. 'Square Moon,' heard on latest EP 'Red Weather,' packs a punch as she learns all about the trials of spending time in Paris. But she's just as likely to deliver searing reflections on past loves (title track 'Red Weather'), or to expose secret desires in the excellent video for 'Run, Run, Run' (also streaming below). See her live on September 18 at Rockwood. - Mike Levine (@Goldnuggets) - The Deli


Last night at (le) poisson rouge the mood was set, the lights were low, and the opening band, The Rockys, played a good collection of reggae rock framing the evening for an indie-rock soul temptress could come sing your pain and heartbreak away. Expecting a delicate, whimsical yet stoic crooner would have you severely disappointment in this Village lounge, as last night, Sophie Auster and her band came to rock. From track to track, Sophie whipped her hair, swayed her hips, and jerked her body around as the band struck gold after gold. Her voice ranged from a sensual rasp to a growing melodic boom that commanded the attention of everyone in the venue. "Run, Run, Run," from her previous album Red Weather proved to be an audience favorite, as Sophie's theatrical performance and silky voice juxtaposed perfectly with the cocktail lounge feel of (le) poisson rouge. Not a moment of the show dulled, as Auster was even able to transition between songs effortlessly by using humor to connect with her audience.

We actually got a chance to chat with the Brooklyn native after the show and this is what she had to say:

SB: So, being a native, how do you feel about about the growing indie scene in Brooklyn and all the changes and attention the borough has gotten lately?

SA: I grew up in Brooklyn, and I think there's always been this music scene in Brooklyn, and I really embrace the kind of evolution of Brooklyn. I think that you know, people can dismiss it and say that it's [the borough's] gotten really bougie, and I agree to a certain extent, but Brooklyn has always been a home to artists.

SB: You're very animated on stage, who are your favorite performers and why?

SA: I think because I grew up doing a lot of theater and music at the same time that it has kind of infiltrated itself into my stage presence. I like to engage people, and I pull my influences from a lot of different artists because I think we all have something to bring to the table.

SB: Both of your parents are writers, how does that affect your creative process?

SA: My parents have always given me a lot of books and I think that has really laid the platform for my songwriting, so lyrically, I think the type literature and poetry that they gave me has kind of shaped the way I write.

SB: You've worked with some pretty eclectic artists so far in your career from Barry Reynolds to Grace Jones. If you had the chance to work with anyone who would it be?

SA: I think it would be fascinating to do something with a Fiona Apple, I think she's very creative and she's really come out of that singer/songwriter Lilith Fair stereotype and kept it going [career-wise]. So yea, I think she would be awesome.

SB: Lastly, what influenced the album title "Dogs and Men" and what can we expect from it?

SA: I think its a classic mix of mid tempo to fast tempo, you'll really hear a lot of sounds and music that will harken back to like classic eras of rock and music.

StageBuddy Bonus: What's Sophie Auster's favorite hang-out spot in the city? Sophie's, obviously! - Stage Buddy


Legendary film music supervisor Randall Poster (who soundtracked, just to name a few, Kids, Rushmore, Velvet Goldmine, 200 Cigarettes, The Thomas Crowne Affair, Boys Don’t Cry, Zoolander, The Royal Tenenbaums, Somethings Gotta Give, The Aviator, The Squid and the Whale, Lost, The Darjeeling Limited, The Hangover, Moonrise Kingdom, Boardwalk Empire, Spring Breakers, and Skyfall) and the mastermind behind Standard Sounds in the East Village, Annie Ohayon, have selected six artists to spend a week at each of the properties and compose two original songs a piece. The artists, whose work will be packaged in a limited-edition LP just in time for Xmas, include Sophie Auster, Nikki Lane, Teddy Thompson, Cillie Barnes, Goldspot’s Sidd Kholsa, and one other, very special surprise.

But the chosen few of you don’t have to wait ‘til Christmas for your first listen. This week, we’re opening Warby Parker’s first-ever West Coast store at The Standard, Hollywood, and in true Stan d’Arde fashion, we’re throwing a big bash. Auster, Khosla and Barnes will all be on hand to play for our friends.

Don’t hate me if you didn’t get an invite. You can always buy the LP at The Standard Shop and at Warby Parker in November!

xo
Stan - The Standard Culture


The personae of Sophie Auster are ever shifting, and she unites them in a persona that avoids the fatal stamp of a changeless character. To appreciate her in performance is to grasp the fluidity of the shifts and the constancy of what ties them together. She projects herself physically and visually, and who she becomes is inseparable from the poetry of her voice and the glamor of her song.

Her eyes have the clarity of stars in ebony: they could be seen from the depth of a well or the top row of a stadium (Martha Graham had such eyes, the time I saw her, ancient and stooped, take a bow with her company). The exquisite fingers and fine articulation of her joints are vibrantly, electrically responsive. She bobs to the music, hits the beat with a sharp, sudden freeze, then another bob, and another freeze. A smidgen less controlled, it would look like twitching, a tad more, like a robot: she connects like copper to the jolt of the lyric and the voltage of the tune. In the instant of the freeze the black light of her eyes is at its clearest and most assertive, like the accusation of a glance.

At Joe’s Pub on Tuesday night, Auster released a CD called Dogs and Men, showing up in an eccentrically mannish outfit that she described, pleased, as “Jim Carrey” or “Willie Wonka.” The Valentine-heart dip of her upper lip (which causes the illusion of a gap in her front teeth) and the pulled-back hair added to the effect. It might have been gender-bending, but coming from her was more about the fluidity and allusiveness of personae. She is, as singer and narrator, protean: in song, full, glamorous, now and then angry; between songs, small-voiced, modest, a little giggly. There is, in the contrast, something winning, a poetics of emotion that exploits the need in the listener for moments of emotional recovery, breathers among epiphanies.

Such they were. Each song was a realization, and a high point. Her voice is relentlessly surprising, shimmering with folk, blues, concert rock, and cabaret. She fills up lyrics like balloons, every word a bubble of meaning, smart in the way that denies distinction between thought and feeling, impulse and its enunciation. She sang mostly from the eleven songs on Dogs and Men; there is love in her universe, and pain, anger, and guilt. Her words are an intelligible poetry, of the eye and what it sees. She is aware of birds, and the sky, and the colors of a town, however dingy, and the eyes of others, including the liquid plea of a beloved dog. Something in her voice prompts synesthesia: her lyrics are, in their writing, expert, in their singing, polished like silver.

Some, but only some, of the impression she made can be glimpsed in her videos, or intuited from her recordings. Her playfulness with personae is explicit in the video of “Bad Manners,” the first track on Dogs and Men. There is a video of the concert already posted by Joe’s Pub, but I cannot say it conveys her, not the dance of her joints nor the house-filling sheen of her voice. It was the sort of performance that stops hearts, like the sight of a falling, or should I say rising?, star.

For more on Sophie Auster, visit her here. Click on Joe’s Pub for information on events and programs at that venue. - Osburnt


The ubiquitous Antony Hegarty has a hand in the new track from American singer/songwriter Sophie Auster, premiering today on Best Fit.

-“Square Moon”, co-written by Auster and Hegarty along with collaborator Barry Reynolds, is ripe with the European influences that stretch back to the 25-year old’s first record, inspired by her writer father’s translations of French surrealist poems.

“The video is inspired by Bunuel’s early collaborations with Salvador Dali like L’age D’or and Un Chien Andalou, Man Ray photographs, and Paris,” explains Auster. “The song…has a very surreal and atmospheric mood, so Julia Pearl Robbins and I tried our best to create a video that did the song justice.

“We shot in our respective homes, in restaurants, and a band rehearsal in Brooklyn before one of my shows. We made the video for zero dollars and had a great time.”

Auster’s has a second longplayer (Dogs & Men) in the works and makes a rare appearance at London’s Sebright Arms on 17 November with Young Unknowns.

The Red Weather EP, featuring “Square Moon” is out now. - The Line of Best Fit


As the daughter of acclaimed writers Paul Auster and Siri Hustvedt, Sophie Auster could have easily gone down a similar literary route. Instead, she opted to carve out her own path in the music world. With two albums under her belt — and a third coming later this year — we chatted with the chanteuse, here wearing Tory’s Cady pant, about new music, old music and on-stage style. If you’re in New York, catch her soulful rock tunes when she performs live tonight at (Le) Poisson Rouge.
My new album, in a nutshell…
I think the title, Dogs and Men, really encapsulates the story. It’s divided between very literal subject matter about relationships and songs that are far more mysterious and surreal. So “men” is the half about love and “dogs” came from all the references to animals on the more moody mysterious part of the record. I’d say in a nutshell: love and dreams.
The music bug bit when…
I was eight. I was in my school choir and my teacher went around the room one day listening to our pitch. She singled me out and made me sing the song alone in front of my class. I don’t think I’ve ever been as nervous as I was at that moment, but she gave me the solo and encouraged me to sing.
And then…
I sang in jazz band after that and picked up guitar and piano shortly afterwards. I started dabbling in songwriting around my early teens but I didn’t start writing seriously until I was around 16, 17.
My musical influences…
Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen, Neil Young, The Beatles, Nina Simone, David Byrne, Lou Reed, Lowell Fulson, Joni Mitchell, Otis Redding, Sam Cooke, Fiona Apple, Jeff Buckley, Billie Holiday, Carole King, Paul Simon and many more.
First album…
France Gall’s self-titled album. I think I was particularly attracted to her photo on the cover. I loved her short blonde bob and red turtleneck. I memorized all the lyrics to that album even though I didn’t know what she was saying at the time. Whenever a DJ throws her on I smile.
Album that changed my life…
The White Album by The Beatles.
My style on stage…
Lots of collars and suspenders. I want to look like Marlene Dietrich on stage, but it doesn’t always happen because I don’t have an expendable budget for Yves Saint Laurent suits, so sometimes I end up looking more like a Sixties folk singer depending on what I put together.
And off…
I think the more I perform the more my style on and off stage has become the same, except I wear a lot more jeans and t-shirts in my everyday life.
Musician whose style I admire…
Keith Richards because he’s Keith Richards.
Most memorable concert I’ve been to…
Tom Waits in San Francisco when I was 11.
Best career advice ever received …
My grandmother told my mother this and my mother told me this: “Don’t do anything you don’t really want to do.” It applies in life and in your career. It’s simple but oh-so-wise. It’s a good one. - The Tory Burch Blog


From Saint Germain to the Jane…In her second season at Sonia Rykiel, Julie de Libran is leaving no one wondering who the Rykiel girl is. She’s resolutely Left Bank when in Paris, and very West Village when in New York. After de Libran’s debut spring collection, shown in a charming, intimate show in the Rykiel flagship on Boulevard Saint Germain, pre-fall was presented in New York in the lounge-y environment of the ballroom at The Jane hotel, where editors and others such as Kate Young and Sofia Coppola, could sink into the couches with a glass of Champagne and watch the show with a live performance by chanteuse Sophie Auster. “I like everyone to have a good time,” said de Libran. “I grew up in America. I love New York. We have to be here.” Not only to show the collection, but also to scout for retail locations. “We’re looking into finding a store,” said de Libran, noting that the Madison Avenue location had closed. “We want to reopen something soon.” - WWD


Discography

Sophie Auster 2006
Red Weather 2012

Dogs and Men 2015


Photos

Bio

Sophie Auster released her self -titled debut under the French label Naïve when she was only 18 years old. While still at Sarah Lawrence College, Sophie toured and played festivals across Europe and South America on her school vacations. In 2007 Sophie appeared on the cover of Spanish Rolling Stone. She has also been featured in Vogue, Elle, Les InRocks, Spin, Glamour, Paris Match, Rolling Stone,Velvet, Paper, Nylon, Porter, and was spotlighted as one of  W Magazine's rising young stars. 

 

In 2012 , Red Weather, was released as an EP. The music highlights her visceral vocals and heart-wrenching lyrics. “ Sophie Auster is not the kind of singer likely to come up too often. Like a cross between Fiona Apple’s righteous rage and Gillian Welch’s homespun folk yarns, her bittersweet alto’s deft sense of delivery is a shot to the scull, wrapped up in some of the most alluring, seductive torch songs you’re liable to find...”(Mike Levine, The Deli)

Sophie’s recent showcase at Le Poisson Rouge in NYC  earned rave reviews. “From track to track, Sophie whipped her hair, swayed her hips, and jerked her body around as the band struck gold after gold. Her voice ranged from a sensual rasp to a growing melodic boom that commanded the attention of everyone one in the venue” (Stage Buddy). As always, Sophie writes her own music.

Dogs and Men, Sophie's latest full length album, has been praised by The New York Times for its "sultry, folksy vocals" and W magazine calls it "soaring".

John Osburn of the acclaimed music blog, Obsburt raves: "Each song was a realization, and a high point. Her voice is relentlessly surprising, shimmering with folk, blues, concert rock, and cabaret. She fills up lyrics like balloons, every word a bubble of meaning, smart in the way that denies distinction between thought and feeling, impulse and enunciation...Something in her voice prompts synesthesia: her lyrics are, in their writing, expert, in their singing, polished like silver."

 

Says Auster: “The new album is called dogs and men. The title represents the two halves of the album. The subject matter is split in two. Men represent love and heartache and dogs the more surreal and dreamy side of the album. The album was produced by Jared Samuel. 

Band Members