Late July is the orchestral bedroom pop name of singer-songwriter Nicole Simone. Forming her bi-coastal sound between Canada and Los Angeles, her spectral approach to songwriting and producing with her evocative vocal styles has drawn comparisons to St. Vincent, Lana Del Rey, Beirut, and Phoebe Bridgers.
Talking about the song, Late July shares, “I wrote ‘Sober’ while watching an ex publicly announce that he was quitting drinking. A week later, he very publicly failed, and I was so disappointed. I think anyone who has been impacted by someone with a substance abuse problem feels the anxiety, hoping the person is going to pull through addiction – and when they don’t – you somehow feel like you’ve completely lost the person. Having a lot of sober people in my life has given me a respect for what they go through and knowing all you can do is hope for the best but prepare for the worst. The song was produced by Jessica Taylor, and we used a lot of ‘80s synths and it’s like a beachy ‘80s prayer.”
With her red hair, dramatic looks, and love of cinema, Late July translates her powerful emotions into her music with vibrant orchestral arrangements, often harrowing strings, ‘80s synths, and conquering trumpets that leave you on a beach or in the darkness of a winter street. Her lyrics are often heartfelt, probing into Late July’s world of the weird, the sad, and the wonderful.
Opening on taut, keening synths, “Sober” flows into a luscious, creamy pop tune, slightly sad yet passionately moving. Sensitive strings imbue the harmonics with uneasy, floating coloration as Late July’s soft, tender vocals infuse the lyrics with her appeal for her ex-lover’s defeat of his addiction.
“So won’t you please get sober / I’m gonna want you when it’s over.”
With “Sober,” Late July blends retro savors with affecting strings into a concentrated invocation for the return of her friend.