From shiny pop perfection to intimate moments of vulnerability, Griff’s first mixtape ‘One Foot in Front of the Other’ is a showcase of talent and emotional growth.
Stream: ‘One Foot in Front of the Other’ – Griff
It’s hard to pinpoint the moment that an artist turns into a star, but after a year of successes in 2020 and receiving the 2021 Brit Award for Rising Star, it looks like Griff just made the jump. Known for merging upbeat electro-pop sounds with authentic and relatable lyrics to create music that is equally radio-ready as it is creative, Griff is a pop game-changer. To mark the triumph of her emergence as an artist, the 20-year-old from Hertfordshire will release her first extended project on June 18th under Warner Records. The mixtape, named One Foot In Front of the Other, shows Griff at her best, and it is this body of work that places the young musician and producer firmly in the running for most exciting artist of the year.
Featuring seven tracks from the British artist, One Foot In Front of the Other sounds utterly authentic, and it is: the mixtape was almost entirely self-produced, placing Griff amongst the 3% of British music producers who identify as female. Waxing and waning between vivacious pop energy and intimate moments of pure vulnerability, this project perfectly showcases Griff’s versatility as a songwriter and legitimate talent for pop production.
Opening One Foot In Front of the Other is “Black Hole,” an intentionally melodramatic heartbreak track that perfectly encapsulates how all-consuming a break-up can feel. As Griff sings, “There’s a big black hole where my heart used to be”, over a plucking beat and wintry synth sounds, she plays up to the over-dramatisation. But, at that moment, melodrama is the only honest reaction. The song has an undeniable pop shimmer, but even on the mixtape’s most commercial offering, Griff never loses her edge.
Leaving behind the stormy sounds of the opening track, ‘Dreams’ is sonically lighter and brighter with its clapping beat and crystal vocals. Although lyrically, it is themes of insecurity and uncertainty that take the focus. The title track, “zOne Foot In Front of the Other,” creates a similar aura: glittering production fused with a confident lyrical expression of fragility.
Griff is an expert at juxtaposing vulnerable lyrics with a confident delivery and upbeat sounds. But on “Shade of Yellow,” she takes a break from that formula to deliver a stripped back track that shows a different side of Griff, a side that is at peace. Thematically, “Shade of Yellow” explores how a person can feel like home and as she sings, “There’s a light in your room, and it burns like a shade of yellow and it makes me feel safe in the head, and I swear that’s rare these days,” the song’s contentment is more than welcome.
Sometimes, it feels like putting one foot in front of the other is the greatest challenge in the world, but listening to Griff’s debut mixtape is a pleasure. With her crisp production and lyrical integrity, there’s no doubt that Griff is set to take centre stage on the British pop scene.
— — — —
📸 © Riccardo Castano
:: Stream Griff ::