Griff has waited for this moment for a long, long time. Still remarkably – refreshingly – young, she cut school to focus on music, once informing her teachers she was taking a gap year as she was too embarrassed to reveal her creative ambitions.
The past 12 months, though, have proved to be an effortless ascent. Debut mixtape ‘One Foot In Front Of The Other’ opens with the now instantly recognisable ‘Black Hole’, a sublime piece of dark-pop that has soundtracked her rise; bold, beautiful, and emphatically mature, it’s become a signal of her intentions, a sign of her artistry.
Indeed, what’s remarkable about this seven track mixtape is the sheer consistency of pop ideas on offer. The title song opens with a sonic nod to her Chinese ancestry with its delicate plucked notes, offsetting this with punchy digi-pop production; rolling from sound to sound, Griff is able to merge this into something coherent, distinct, and utterly unique.
Take ‘Shade Of Yellow’ with its pulsing, arena-level electronics, underpinning Griff’s divine high notes; or the way ‘Heart Of Gold’ pivots on the simplest rhythmic detail, a contagious percussive device with a hint of Rosalia’s Catalonian pop in there, too.
‘Remembering My Dreams’ is a song of reconnection, while ‘Earl Grey Tea’ muses on identity. At times, it feels as though everything is open, everything is up for grabs on this daring project, one where Griff finally pulls down the walls to reveal her life in 360.
Ending with the pulsating ‘Walk’ it’s a document of pop progression, a sign post on Griff’s journey. ‘One Foot In Front Of The Other’ as a title is a nod to the anxieties accompanied by her rise, a counter-weight to her feelings of self-doubt – one this evidence, it’s a journey we’ll be following for years to come.
Words: Robin Murray
– – –
– – –