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Sophia Eliana: Tracks That Shaped My Sound

Singer/songwriter and folk musician, Sophia Eliana, releases a heart-warming and hilariously honest single, ‘Kissing Girls in Church Parking Lots’ out Friday, September 1st. The new queer anthem - written by Sophia Eliana and produced in collaboration with musician James Pike - is a breath of fresh air for all lovers of witty folk songs. “Kissing Girls in Church Parking Lots” is a queer coming-of-age ballad capturing the magical spark of kissing a girl for the first time as an early 20-something. The storyline of this folk tune follows the giddiness of two women in rural Maine locking lips in a church parking lot after a cheeky first date. “Kissing Girls in Church Parking Lots” is an invitation to mull over first dates, ponder the compatibility of new lovers’ astrological signs with your own, and embrace the wonder of navigating sexual identities as a young adult. We spoke to Sophia about the tracks that shaped her sound.

Slow Down Kamikaze - Live by Anna Moss

I came across “Slow Down Kamikaze” back in October 2022 right around the time that I started writing “Kissing Girls in Church Parking Lots.” Anna Moss’ ethereal melodies that sit in this sweet pocket just floating over the bassline gives off such an effortless groove. I deeply admire how much purpose she gives every word in the song. She delivers each verse with immense care and attention. The lyricism of “Slow Down Kamikaze” is so delicious. This song served as a constant reminder to take my time while writing “Kissing Girls…” in order to locate the true essence of the story.

Dead & Born & Grown - album by The Staves

The Staves will always hold a soft spot in my heart. The stripped-back acoustic guitar paired with Emily, Jessica, and Camilla Staveley-Taylor’s harmonies melts me like butter. Their album Dead & Born & Grown is a timeless folk record. I return to these songs when craving a sense of familiarity and comfort in my days. The bells and whistles of a full-band is not always what makes a song memorable. Sometimes all a song needs is a trusty guitar and thoughtful lyrics to make an everlasting impact.

Early Morning Breeze - by Dolly Parton

The chorus in “Early Morning Breeze” is a total powerhouse. I have always admired how Dolly sets-up choruses to shine, yet not overshadow verses. I even reference Dolly in the third verse of “Kissing Girls in Church Parking Lots!” Dolly Parton’s vibrato is so airy and sweet like a dewy, spring day. I could listen to her album Jolene for hours on end.

Come in Closer - Rhye

I put on Rhye’s music when I need a good cry, solo-dance party, or mindset shift…. and sometimes, if I’m lucky, all three of those things will emerge at the same time in this beautiful, cathartic release. I took a deep dive into Rhye’s music upon the drop of his 2020 album, Black Rain. His use of synthesizers absolutely rules.

Que Rica (Tocame) - Pitbull, Sak Noel, and Salvi

I am wrapping this up with a song that never fails to make me full-belly laugh. The lyrics of “Que Rica (Tocame)” are as ridiculously vulgar as they are catchy. If Pitbull can write about the nitty gritty details of hitting it off with girls in clubs, I will be damned if I don’t write a whole song about kissing girls in church parking lots.

Check out all of Sophia's music here:


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