Relinquishing inhibition and apprehension fosters creativity in its purest form. By letting go, an artist invariably flourishes. SOPHIE AUSTER embodies this phenomenon. The New York singer and songwriter leverages the freedom to soulfully speak her mind and share truths by way of vivid songwriting cast over swaths of lush acoustic guitars and dense piano chords. Emblematic of her growth, the first single “Mexico” plays out like a long lost fifties South-of-the-Border-set film noir. Punctuated by boisterous horns and an irresistible chant, the track illuminates both vocal charisma and a knack for storytelling. Elsewhere on NEXT TIME,“Black Water” invokes the smoky soul of bluesy jazz standards “influenced by a solitary feeling.” Finally, album closer “Tom C” leaves an intoxicating last word chased by faint guitar and hypnotic crooning, which bottles “this lonely hazy night of being alone in a bar.” In many ways, the title signals the start of a new chapter for the songstress. In the end, this is time for Sophie to tell her story.