Sunday, June 20, 2021

Brits’ 2021 Rising Star Griff Astounds With Debut Mixtape ‘One Foot In Front Of The Other’

With internationally successful powerhouses amongst the likes of Adele, Sam Smith and Ellie Goulding being predecessors of the Brits’ ‘Rising Star’ award (formerly ‘Critics Choice’), this year’s winner, 20-year-old Sarah Griffiths or ‘Griff’, has big shoes to fill. 

Earlier this year, her single ‘Black Hole’ was a smash hit, earning the singer/songwriter her first chart position in the top 20, leaving thousands of new fans eagerly anticipating her next move. 

Encompassed by featherlight yet emotionally driven vocal performances, slick, bouncy production and effortlessly catchy hooks, Griff’s debut Mixtape ‘One Foot In Front Of The Other’, released June 18th, is an ode to a broken heart and a pledge to herself get better. 

After learning that women only made up 2% of music producers, Griff took it upon herself to ensure that she would be the sole producer of her debut work - meaning that there are no outside collaborators in the making of this mixtape. Vulnerable yet powerful, hopeless yet hopeful, this collection of songs is Griff’s voice and vision in the purest form, which really shines through upon listening. 

Breakout single ‘Black Hole’ is the opening track, which really lays the foundation of the emotional journey the listen is about to embark on. Griff pines for a previous relationship,  which, in its absence, has left her emotionally void, acting as a trigger for her emotional downfall and eventual rebuilding she is going through. 

“There’s a big black hole where my heart used to be / And I wish that you would realise I’m all that you need”

Griff herself has described the lyricism of this track as ‘dramatic’ as we all feel as if our world is crumbling when we lose someone we love, especially as a young person. 

‘Heart of Gold’ is a continuation of this story, as Griff describes not being able to give the same love back to her partner as she is receiving - “You’ve got a heart like gold and mine’s a little more like stone”. The comparison of her heart being ‘stone’ mirroring that of it being a ‘black hole’ previously. What Griff does brilliantly, with both of these tracks, is lace the hurt and fragility of their lyricism with instrumentation that urges you to dance along, which is almost a diversion from the hurt that is at the core of the songs  - possibly how Griff herself distracted herself from these negative emotions. 

Not all doom and gloom, however, Griff shows us that she is optimistic about her future. The title track, ‘One Foot In Front Of The Other’ details her journey of emotional recovery as she realises that part of growing up is not being able to ‘bounce back’ as quickly as we could in our youth, as things cut a lot deeper as we age, but still putting the work in regardless. She also ends the work with a highlight ‘Walk’, which she has stated is a love letter to the broken protagonist, telling them they are worthy of love. Toe-tapping fun, this song sounds like it could come straight off of Swift’s ‘1989’ or HAIM’s sophomore LP ‘Something To Tell You’ - two artists she claims are massive influences in her work. 

‘One Foot In Front Of The Other’ is a pop triumph. It may not be anything completely original or groundbreaking, but it is a true showcase of pure talent and musical literacy. When put in perspective, this mixtape has been solely written and produced by a 20-year-old woman still finding her footing in the music industry, and that alone is significantly commendable. Griff shows a lot of promise and has proven herself more than worthy of her Rising Star award, hopefully, there are big things ahead for this young talent. 

Ellie Callaghan 


Image: GRIFF Official Album Artwork (Warner Music UK)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comment Here;