Sophie Lindmüller – ORBIT KID SOCIETY

Sophie Lindmüller’s new project ORBIT KID is starting off with their first album ORBIT KID SOCIETY. The debut is released by BERTHOLD records on March 15th 2024. The line-up: Sophie Lindmüller (vocals), Philip Dornbusch (drums), Povel Widestrand (keys / piano / organ / celesta), Thorbjørn Stefansson (bass) plus: Asger Uttrup Nissen (alto sax / alto clarinet), Sigmund Rygh Seljebø (guitar), Anna Viechtl (harp), Meike Lu Schneider (violin), Alexina Hawkins (viola), Otto Hirte (flute) & Julia Biłat (cello).


Lindmüller is a composer, improviser and educator, but above all a singer with a warm, heartfelt and unforced voice. She is also the driving force behind her jazz group, plus guests, gathered together for this album. “There are many instruments playing together on ORBIT KID SOCIETY,” she explains, “but not all play on every track. The idea is to combine pop, jazz and classic instruments, with no genre boundaries.”


The singer wrote both the music and lyrics. Supported by excellent musicians, she has produced an album that appeals to a range of musical tastes, yet results in a unified and captivating whole. “I want my music to be accessible,” she says, “even if the pieces are mostly not easy-listening pop music.”


The music can be quiet and intimate as in the track Dark Matter. “The energy between people is not always easy to grasp,” says Lindmüller. “Why is some energy good, some bad. You can meet someone and bond, sense what they are, but there’s this big universe of what they’ll do or what they’ve been through. It’s the metaphorical dark matter.” Here, the composer uses piano, guitar, vocals and bass, plus a touch of clarinet, to create a warm sound, offset by unsettling lyrics: ‘there’s a heaven, there’s a hell of you and me…’


Lost Boys is also highly personal, but she produces a hard hitting, disturbing sound to reflect on different relationships, in which “I went through a lot of real shit. Not because I don’t have myself together, but because they don’t have their shit together.” Her lyrics include the telling line: ‘…following the monsters of his mind, I have coffee and he has time…’


In other tracks such as Scorched Earth Lindmüller reflects on climate change though, as she says, “in an ironic way. The world is going down in flames and you say, OK, there’s no place for me. It also includes the idea of doing stuff to be better. We all make mistakes and I include myself.” Here, her melodic, free-floating composition is in sharp contrast to the chilling lyrics: ‘…swimming in the icy sea, holding hands, hear the white paws plea’.


The composer enjoys experimenting with different musical forms as in Birds, a calming, instrumental piece. “The inspiration came from a Stevie Wonder track where he was creating jungle sounds in the background,” she explains. “I created a loop using percussion instruments and bird pipes. It sounds as if you’re really in a forest, surrounded by birds and beautiful, natural noises.”


In Walking on the Moon Lindmüller explores honesty whilst taking new directions. “It’s about experiencing new situations, without being able to imagine them before,” she says. “Some of the lyrics are sexual,” – ‘…exploring lust rising up like glowing cells.’


Interestingly, when asked about new directions, some part of her wants to, “…return to my teenage me, not writing too complicated music and being intellectual. Just to be a singer which was always there, even as a four-year-old in kindergarten.” She realises though that nobody is keeping her from exploring new musical avenues. In truth, her mature musicality and poetic inventiveness promise much more path-breaking originality.


Ian Bild. November 2023

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