Sophia is the creation of songwriter and guitarist Robin Proper-Sheppard, the mastermind behind critically adored cult act the God Machine. Formed with high-school friends Jimmy Fernandez (bass) and Ron Austin (drums), the God Machine appeared to be on the brink of a major breakthrough when Fernandez died in May 1994 from an undetected brain tumour. Proper-Sheppard and Austin decided to end the God Machine, rather than continue with a replacement member. Instead of automatically forming another outfit, Proper-Sheppard opted to focus primarily on getting his independent label, The Flower Shop Recordings, up and running and producing UK-based acts, including Elevate. However, Proper-Sheppard’s desire to record and perform his own songs returned, resulting in the formation of Sophia in the mid-90s.
Drawing on alt-pop, folk, and even electro-rock, Proper-Sheppard used Sophia as an outlet for low-key compositions that sounded nothing like the shockingly loud and intense material performed by the God Machine. He released two Sophia albums during this period, 1996’s Fixed Water and 1998’s The Infinite Circle (which saw the artist joined primarily by other Flower Shop recording artists). A concert set, De Nachten, followed in 2001. Moving to the City Slang label, Sophia issued their next studio effort, People Are Like Seasons, in early 2004.