“Come With Us”: Sophie Ellis-Bextor Invites Us Into Her ‘Familia’

Sophie Ellis-Bextor returns to the donce floor with a disco-inflected, Latin America-inspired invitation to join her cult. Where’s the sign-up sheet?

We nearly lost her there for a minute.

Well, not really. But for a time, Sophie Ellis-Bextor veered far away from the donce floor upon which she first murdered us all a full fifteen years ago (!) for a bit of a folky, more serious-faced indie stonce on the Ed Harcourt co-helmed Wanderlust in 2014.

It was an artistically liberating and beautifully crafted record, no doubt — but nary a “Heartbreak (Make Me A Dancer)” in the bunch. To be fair, that album also proved to be her most critically and commercially successful LP in some time. And change is good! Just ask Britney. So…well done, Sophie!

A few years and a few babies later, Sophie E-B’s back at it once again with Ed Harcourt for a bright, bold-sounding new record called Familia, due out on September 2.

Though she’s teased the campaign for some time on social media, the Familia era formally kicked off over this past week with the inviting and, mercifully, disco-inflected lead single, “Come With Us.”

It’s a sexy, stomping throwback to her earliest solo sound, positioning her somewhere between Read My Lips and Shoot From The Hip in terms of funky beats and finer feelings, but with a decidedly South American flair. (Translation: RT for Brazil.)

“My new album Familia is the bolshier, more extrovert little sister to Wanderlust. It sees the Wanderlust girl move away from Eastern Europe to the warmer, sunnier climate of South America where she’s swapped vodka for tequila,” Sophie explains.

The prolific singer-songwriter says the song is the result of “what happens when Ed Harcourt and I write four on the floor…a live disco song about the lure of a cult.”

“Come with us / If you give us all your money, we’ll give your dreams / And from dawn to dusk, come away with me…”

As someone who happens to very much appreciate the people of South America — uh, especially the men (#JustAPreference) and also counts the discotheque as a place of worship, I’ve never encountered a cult that speaks so strongly to my immediate needs. Is there a formal sign-up sheet for this Familia? Well, there’s a pre-order, at least. Are there monthly dues? Will we be drinking some sort of special Caipirinha to board the spaceship following the next comet? It’s fine by me. Take all my coins, Sophie!

And, because Sophie is a downright hero, there are plenty of ways to get your “Come With Us” fix thanks to a complete single remix suite by F9, including a radio remix, a mixshow edit and an extended disco mix.

From the description of the tracks on her official website (full tracklisting below), Familia seems like a varied set, musically: “Unrequited” is “beautiful and emotive,” “Death of Love” is a “synth-laded ballad” (yum!) and “Wild Forever” is “the alt-pop buoyant opener.”

This may not be a full-on return to those Trip The Light Fantastic days, but it does sound like Sophie’s slowly tip-toeing back to the strobe-lit side of things in this mixed-up world.

At the very least, today the sun’s back on us.

1. Wild Forever
2. Death Of Love
3. Crystallise
4. Hush Little Voices
5. Here Comes The Rapture
6. Come With Us
7. Cassandra
8. My Puppet Heart
9. Unrequited
10. The Saddest Happiness
11. Don’t Shy Away

Familia will be released on September 2. (Apple MusicSpotify)

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