While I try my best to keep my finger on the pulse, some artists rise to the top so fast that it’s easy to blink and miss them. No sooner did the name Griff appear on my periphery as one to watch, she was stealing the show at the BRIT awards and being held up as their rising star. While I may sadly be a little late to the party, it’s most certainly still a party I want to be part of, as her time in the spotlight is most assuredly deserved. With her debut release One Foot in Front of the Other we find the perfect mission statement of what makes Griff so rightly hailed as the UK’s next big pop act. Entirely written, performed and produced by her alone, so much of her personality is poured into this EP, offering assured performances and carrying a clear idea of who she is and where she’s going for anyone that listens. With her own unique style as a performer, a touching candour to her lyricism, and a knack for crafting memorable hooks, she ticks every box for what a pop act should aspire to be.
The effervescent title track and its addictive chorus makes it feel like there’s a light at the end of the tunnel while taking confident strides out of the darkness, while the playful synths on the fittingly bright ‘Shade Of Yellow’ offer a touching reminder that home is whoever and wherever you make it. ‘Heart of Gold’ shows Griff’s songwriting at its most open and honest as it deals with the struggle to move on; trying in vain to open up when you’re scared of getting hurt again, even when all the signs point to that person having your best interests at heart. The more stripped back piano driven ‘Earl Grey Tea’ really serves as the emotional heart of the record. With lines like “And you’re so concerned about everybody/You get up, go to work, and earn more money/So that when you go, you got something to show for it/Well, you’ll have everything, but no one to hold on to“, this poignant track deals with misplaced priorities. How people can obsess over one facet of their life while letting everything else fall by the wayside. But it’s her breakout hit ‘Black Hole’ that looms largest over this release; a flawless piece of alt-pop, this brilliant break-up anthem lingers in your mind long after it’s gone and stands out as one of the best tracks of 2021.
Fans of Billie Eilish, Lorde and Maisie Peters should check out Griff’s debut EP One Foot in Front of the Other out now!