Sophia Exiner is a Melbourne, Australia-based indie pop singer/songwriter and producer, best known as Phia. Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site for some time, you may recall that Exiner initially received international attention for a genre defying, playfully experiential sound centered around loop pedals and kalimba, an African thumb piano-like instrument popularly used throughout sub-Sahara Africa. Building upon a growing international profile, Exiner has played hundreds of shows across Europe, including appearances at Melt Festival, Berlin Festival and Fusion Festival.
Several years have passed since I’ve personally written about Exiner, but in that period she has released a handful of singles, two EPs, her full-length debut, 2016’s The Ocean of Everything — and she’s the founder of a the contemporary choir ensemble, Melbourne Indie Voices. Exiner’s latest single, the infectious and sugary pop confection “Full Circle” is centered around a looping, 12 bar blues guitar line contributed by her longtime collaborator Josh “Josh The Cat” Teicher, handclap-led percussion, a 50 person choral arrangement that weaves itself in and out of the mix, Exiner’s self-assured vocal delivery and an infectious hook. And while being a sugary sweet and carefully crafted pop confection, the song thematically asks an important question that must be considered as you get older: How can we honor our childhood aspirations through the weathered and wearied lens of adulthood?