Tuesday 12 March 2019

Sigrid - Sucker Punch

Sigrid - Sucker Punch

So here it is, “the sound of 2018”. It’s been over a year since Norway’s Sigrid won the BBC’s coveted Sound Of award and, after a steady stream of singles and EPs, we finally have a full debut album in 2019.

Thankfully, though, this isn’t simply a best of from the past year. All those previous releases have simply served to keep Sigrid in the public conscious, gearing up for the main event that – surprisingly enough – isn’t just predominantly new, it’s her best work.

Breakthrough hit Don’t Kill My Vibe still stands out as a powerhouse single, the semi-shouted chorus a cacophony of hooks, drums and empowerment. The rest of the album follows suit, with a series of tightly constructed, polished pop tracks. Don’t Feel Like Crying is a concise two and a half minutes of euphoric string stabs and giddy melismatic melodies. Mine Right Now starts intimate before building to a vibrant, neon-lit chorus punctuated by a repeated “hey!”. Basic, an anthem for basic bitches worldwide, revolves around a “na na na” earworm and succeeds for its clarity and, well, basicness. And if you haven’t heard Strangers yet, where were you last year?

As the longest track, In Vain, takes us on a journey and hits all Sigrid’s moods along the way. What begins as a heartfelt ballad of delicate vulnerability eventually finds power after the repeated “give it, give it up” bridge and the fizzing synths kick in. Level Up sees Sigrid in folk mode, while the album ends on a downer with the anything-but Dynamite. Her voice cracks beautifully but the energy drops. She’s far more comfortable in the throbbing 80s synths of Never Mine.

Listening to ‘Sucker Punch’ at last, it’s not hard to see why Sigrid was chosen as the sound of 2018. To an extent this is pop by numbers: Scandi artist sings sad bangers full of hooks, synths, and “heys!”. The songs are short, accessible, emotive yet upbeat and danceable.

It’s hard to hold this against Sigrid, though. This might be frothy pop but it’s so well put together that the infectious hooks are undeniable. There’s a carefree innocence to the songs that arrives in a flurry of strings and yearning melodies. It might not be an emotional sucker punch, but this debut will no doubt worm its way into your head.


Gizzle’s Choice:
* Basic
* Don’t Feel Like Crying
* Don’t Kill My Vibe

Listen: 'Sucker Punch' is out now.