Sofia Kourtesis, 'By Your Side': Song You Need to Know - Rolling Stone
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Song You Need to Know: Sofia Kourtesis, ‘By Your Side’

Peru-born, Berlin-based producer will release the Fresia Magdalena EP this month

Sofia Kourtesis’ “Sarita Colonia” builds for more than two full minutes before reaching a jittery, crushing cruising altitude full of stuttering drums and slicing horns. The track was released in early 2020, but its fizzy mid-section, crackling with the energy of an electrical fire, kept it fresh in our minds throughout the year. 

Kourtesis’ latest song is “By Your Side,” which initially lets off a more soothing energy — dulcet notes on what sounds like a keyboard, a melodic pinging riff that might be played on a triangle, a snippet of an announcer referring to the coziest of standards, “I Only Have Eyes for You.” This surplus of cooled-out energy makes it all the more exciting when a battery of horns blurt through the calm, 122-beats-per-minute groove with all the grace of a brass band tuning up in a quiet cafe. 

“By Your Side” will appear on Fresia Magdalena, a new EP out March 19th. That release follows last year’s Sarita Colonia, a four-track set, and Kourtesis’ eponymous 2019 debut. 

“My last EPs were about happiness and losing it and three-day raves with my best friends,” she told NME. “But this one had to be more about reflecting on my life — it was a big step to be without my samples or machines talking for me.”

Find a playlist of all of our recent Songs You Need to Know selections on Spotify.

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