Shots with SOPHIE: A Boozy Review of Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides

Miles Bolland of St Andrews Wine Company pairs beverages to visionary artist SOPHIE‘s debut full-length album, Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides. SOPHIE, who recently came out as trans, says “This is an album for myself, my friends, and all of the sweet people that have supported me and inspired me, I love you. Let’s celebrate.Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides‘ gossamer layers of synth swathed over auditory brutalism is an enigma that can be best experienced with a glass of Miles’s finest recommendations.

“It’s Okay To Cry”: This is a difficult one as there’s a few things that it reminded me of, but no single fit I feel that matches it perfectly. One that I feel comes most easily to mind is Jinzu, a Scottish made, Japanese inspired gin. You get the traditional gin mixed in with cherry blossom, yuzu and sake. On paper it doesn’t seem like it should work but damn does it. Having had it the night before I write this it has stuck in my mind and quite frankly I doubt you’ll get much better than Jinzu and this song.

“Ponyboy”: Wow, was this song a very different song to what came before. Sharper, edgier and after “It’s Okay To Cry” it almost assaults the ears (in a good way obviously). For this I’m going vodka on the rocks, good vodka, something that’ll grab you yet still give you that kick at the back of the throat. Any good vodka would do I feel, but I’d personally go with Ogilvy vodka.

“Faceshopping”: It took me a moment to realise the song had changed and for that simple reason I’m sticking with vodka but changing it up slightly and saying go for a Caipirovska. It’s a vodka cocktail with lime and golden granulated sugar and takes moments to prepare and yet I feel is very tasty and very well suited to this song.

“Is It Cold In The Water?”: If these first four songs are anything to go by spirits seem to be the order of the day. Peppermint Schnapps leapt to mind when listening to this and while I admit I can’t fully explain why, I’m sticking with it, I trust my gut. I have no real preference for producer here but as always, make sure it’s a good one.

“Infatuation”: This whole album to me has a very kind of cyberpunk vibe to it. Miss Sharples may well facepalm at reading this (sorry Staley) but for me it’s what comes to mind. I can imagine this playing in the background as Rick Deckard walks through a bar. As such I feel the drinks should be a mix of colours as that always tends to be the case in these films. With that in mind I’m going with a Pina-colada-tini. If you’ll excuse the utterly ridiculous name this white, yellow and blue cocktails incorporates white rum, coconut cream and pineapple juice.

“Not Okay”: Wow, and I thought “Ponyboy” was an assault, this odd yet impressive blend of, well I don’t even know what it’s a blend of. I’d go with tequila, something sharp, something quick, something to the point. Go with something aged as well that’s my favourite but a blanco would work just as well for this purpose.

“Pretending”: If this song doesn’t make it into Cyberpunk 2077 then they’ve missed a trick (I promise that’ll be my last reference to anything nerdy in this list). I’m going to go with Absinthe for this as quite frankly if you want something mind-blowing then I feel that’s a good place to start. Don’t just shot it, drink it properly. I’m not saying invest in some Absinthiana, but go down the water and sugar route and enjoy.

“Immaterial”: This seems to be much more buoyant and more mainstream influenced, and in a world were that’s not always a good thing I can say that in this case it is. I’m going to go for a simple gin and lemonade here as it’s simple and very tasty and can be made quickly and consumed easily (drink responsibly), yet with good gin it transforms into something that can really be enjoyed. So while mainstream influenced it becomes something a little bit special.

“Whole New World/Pretend World”: The beat comes back with a vengeance as this song kicks off. One came to mind almost instantly in this one, and that’s a champagne cocktail. Soak a sugar cube in Angostura bitters and drop it into a glass of champagne. Now you’ve got something classy yet with a kick, something elegant and timeless perverted into something with an edge. I’m quite partial to one of these when I get the chance and I encourage you to treat yourself to one, perhaps two if you enjoy it.

I usually split the album into a beginning, middle and end and what to drink with each section. Here though I say go with good vodka, whether straight or in cocktails. It feels like the best match for this extraordinary album.

Words: Miles Bolland

Purchase spirits from St Andrews Wine Company, and stream Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides on Spotify.

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