Close this search box.

Sofia Kourtesis Releases Debut Album, “Madres”

Sofia Kourtesis has earned both the attention of the electronic world and the hearts of club attendees in the past few years with her solitary brand of personal, introspective house music. And understandably, Madres, her recently released debut album, spends a ton of time in that world. First up in that lane is the two-pack that opens the project. “Madres” functions as a perfect mission statement for its namesake, a blend of previous Kourtesis releases with expansive, plucky synth work that’s synonymous with her brand placed alongside her own vocal lines—a new development on this album.

“Si Te Portas Bonito,” released as a single in the lead-up, accomplishes a similar goal. While house music in general can get a bit formulaic (first the melody, then the drums, then a synth layer, then another countermelody synth layer), Sofia’s work has always followed a more cyclical rhythm than the genre’s linear progression. “Si Te Portas Bonito” is an excellent showcase of that, an undeniable groove fading in and out underneath a chanted set of melodic Spanish lyrics.

Taken from @sofiakourtesis on Instagram.

On Madres’ third track, “Vajkoczy,” Sofia Kourtesis’ vocals get more emphasis than anywhere else on the record. Given that focus, we get the opportunity to see that she’s got quite the voice, even with a somewhat muted delivery that doesn’t draw outside the lines of typical house samples. While they’re all more than worthy of your time, a lot of what’s on display here fits into this general category of sprawling yet energetic electronica. That includes “How Music Makes You Feel Better,” the two closing tracks, “Cecilia” and “El Carmen,” as well as “Habla Con Ella,” a strong contender for the best song on this album.

The Experimental Second Leg of Sofia Kourtesis’ Madres

The album’s material following a similar structure makes the moments where Sofia Kourtesis diverges from it stand out all the more. “Funkhaus” is reflective and exuberant at the same time, a darting synthesizer melody hinting at a slow jam before two warring vocal samples come in full of emotion. The sometimes dissonant notes it hits hint at the next track here.”Moving Houses” is no doubt the most experimental piece on Madres—a lo-fi, haunting piece of ambient music that employs a heavily filtered vocal performance from Kourtesis and a reversed melody. While the lyrics are largely opaque (“Moving houses with you my friend / how, how, how, can I express the feeling), what’s abundantly clear is the stirring atmosphere, an impressively seamless addition in the tracklist given how big of a risk and departure it is.

Finally, “Estacion Esperanza,” featuring French-Spanish singer Manu Chao, is the hardest to get your arms around. Over its 5-minute duration, the track changes shape a handful of times: going from a simple jam with Sofia vocals over top, to a jazzy breakdown sans lyrics entirely, to a spotlight of the aforementioned Chao. While you can get a sense of Madres easiest with some of the other cuts, this is probably the best showcase of her talent, able to fit so much life into such a tight, ordered package.

Already earning high marks from publications far and wide, Sofia Kourtesis’ Madres is totally deserving of that praise. But you certainly shouldn’t just take our word for it—go give the record a listen now. It’s available on all streaming platforms.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments