Masha Sokol debuted her first album, an EP titled “From the Fire” on Oct. 29, 2021, for the world to enjoy.
Sokol is a Russian-American singer/songwriter living in the Catskill mountains. She spent the first eight years of her life in Moscow, Russia, before immigrating to the United States with her family. Sokol’s childhood was marked by periods of great change and uncertainty. As a result, she used art and music as both an escape during difficult times and a way to connect with others despite differences in experience, culture, or language.
Most of the songs on Sokol’s album were written within the last six months, after her life was uprooted by a devastating fire that destroyed her home. Forced to rebuild her life from scratch, Sokol turned to songwriting to cope with the tragedy. Through this process, “From the Fire” was born, emerging like a phoenix through the ashes.
Sokol’s songwriting style has a wide range of influences, both English-speaking and Russian-speaking. Vocally, she is drawn to soulful singers such as Nina Simone, Janis Joplin, and Adele. Lyrically, she draws inspiration from songwriters who tell their story using vivid imagery, weaving metaphor and meaning into their observation of the world around them. Her lyrical inspirations range from English-speaking songwriters such as Hozier and Joanna Newsom to Russian-speaking ones such as Vladimir Vysotsky and Elena Vaenga.
Musically, her arrangements begin with elements of Americana mixed with Russian folk themes, which are then adorned with orchestral instruments, creating a sound all her own. Sokol’s haunting lyrics and melodies explore themes of loss, transformation and hope.
After her house fire, Sokol found solace in a local community of artists and musicians from the Catskills and Hudson Valley. The area, which saw a sort of rebirth during the pandemic, is alive with creation, home to a tightly-knit but warm and welcoming music scene.
Sokol is currently working on writing and recording her second release, which she describes as more complex and layered than her first. Sokol has also been performing at local venues such as the Dale, Cabernet Frank’s, and Rafter’s Tavern.