Sophie Auster, Finally on Her Own

“I feel like this is my first record.  I self-produced it… My first record was kind of a novelty,” explains Sophie Auster.  Sophie is the daughter of literary super-couple Paul Auster and Siri Hustvedt and, at 25, she’s been in some spotlight or other for the better part of her life.  She’s been acting since 1998, but seems to prefer her recent excursion into music: “Both are an artistic release, a cathartic experience, but what I prefer about writing songs is I have complete control over the things I’m doing.  I’m the director of my work.” Sophie released her first (self-titled) album at 16.  It was a collaboration between herself and Michael Hearst and Joshua Camp of One Ring Zero.  The project had Sophie incorporating poetry (her own, translations of her fathers, and a few “classics.”) with the musical compositions of Hearst and Camp: “I just took poetry and put it together with a band.  It was a collaborative effort between friends, but it wasn’t really intended for public consumption.”  However, since graduating from Sarah Lawrence in 2010, the music she’s been working on is a little different and far more her own: “I think really I’ve been very productive this year, which makes me feel very inspired.”  She’s spent recent years writing and recording the material that would come to be her sophomore album (or, according to her, her first proper album), Red Weather, which was released earlier this month on Lost Colony Music.  Her latest work radiates a soulful brand of blues, indebted to the best Americana, which is as sultry and sexy as it is melancholy… although this wasn’t necessarily Ms. Auster’s initial intention: “For me, I always thought of myself as a songwriter that took from quirkier places – dreams, surrealist images – but this turned out to be more of a breakup album.”