With a string of singles and an EP in her back pocket, debut mixtape ‘One Foot In Front Of The Other’ serves as a way to get acquainted with Griff as she faces down pop stardom. Almost entirely self-produced, the mixtape sounds intimate and nuanced, moving from the radio-sheen of ‘Black Hole’ to the more hushed ‘Shade of Yellow’. If the latter sounds pulled back, it’s completely intentional; the gently percolating synths almost overtake Griff’s vocals, vocoder close behind her as she confesses that the particular yellow of someone’s room makes her feel safe. What could come off as cliched sounds sincere, such as on ‘Earl Grey’, an in-the-room style track with tape clicks included. ‘Walk’, with its cheesy ‘80s drum fills and hand-claps, comes closest to gauche if not for its self-awareness and genuine embrace of pop music conventions, nodding to retro influences without bending to them entirely. ‘One Foot In Front Of The Other’ is candid and unerring in representing the person behind it all - this is truly Griff distilled into a collection of tracks, and its imperfections only add to that from-my-bedroom-to-yours sensibility. A joy to listen to, full of crisp production, clear and emotive vocals, and genuine superstar presence - 2021 could well be Griff’s year.
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