It’s pretty hard to knock an album as crushingly sad as this prolonged debut by Stéphanie Sokolinski – a 25-year-old emerging French actress who has been making music for ten years and has already quit the business once, due to fear of the music industry.

Unapologetically, wholly cathartic sums up ‘I Thought I was an Alien’ – a record through which Soko repeatedly resembles Laura Marling at her most bereft (‘People Always Look Better In The Sun’, ‘For Marlon’) and more than once threatens to break down in floods of tears mid song (‘Treat Your Woman Right’, ‘Happy Hippie Birthday’). Soko is hurting and this, it seems, is her therapy – 15 confessions accompanied largely by just one acoustic guitar, each one a little more exhaustingly emotional than the one before.

Aside from the opening ‘I Just Want To Make It New With You’, which is Parisian cool in its French speak-sing and rudimentary bassline, it’s like the musical equivalent to Schindler’s List – if you don’t cry by the end you might be a Nazi.

By Sam Little

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