Miss Grit

Follow The Cyborg

Pop highs, gnarly guitars, and jazzy sax – what more could you ask for? wonders Aug Stone

After the glorious pop assault of their two earlier EPs, Miss Grit’s debut full-length announces itself in a milder manner. 2019’s Talk, Talk and 2021’s Imposter, each snapped on stadium lights to show the enormity of what was on offer, Miss Grit’s debut full-length dials down the dimmer switch for a more intimate entry into their songs.

The opening synths on first track ‘Perfect Blue’ are slow and steady, providing a bed for the mellifluous drawn-out vocals. The drums take their time before kicking in to move things along apace. Clear, crisp, percolating percussion features throughout the record as a powerful component. At 1:20 in, the big pop heights of their previous output returns, emphasised by a huge giddy synth wave thirty seconds later.

Next up, ‘Your Eyes Are Mine’ starts off a bit plodding but imperceptibly builds until, before you know it, it’s full on gnarly guitars that even temporarily enter 70s jazz fusion territory. Before we get there, it is Miss Grit’s lovely voice that captivates – simultaneously strong and breathy, the way she effortlessly jumps between the notes of these interesting melodies really standing out.

Track three, ‘Nothing’s Wrong’, points to a different side of their output. Indie rock guitars for a song that reminds me of Smashing Pumpkins at their most Beatles-y. It’s better than that sounds – pleasant enough, but easily forgotten amidst the synthpop that otherwise makes the album soar. Once over that particular hump, we’re back at it with ‘Lain (phone clone)’. A familiar soft beginning, but the melody is too delicious to keep contained for long, and soon it’s that huge open space brimming with hooks in the manner of the earlier EPs. All set to stay at these heights, brief instrumental interlude ‘Buffering’ does just that before the record launches out into the rest of the highlights.

The title track is a swirling mix of styles – frenetic bubbly synths, jazzy saxophones, new wave guitars – all held together by that gorgeous voice which merges them into a pop whole. On this and ‘Like You’, Miss Grit possesses a kindred adventurous spirit with David Bowie and St. Vincent. The Adrian Belew-esque guitar lines on the latter only add to this. The vocals are really shining here – cool, poised, catchy as hell.

‘The End’ returns to the indie rock side of the spectrum, that guitar style continuing on into album closer ‘Syncing’. But it is Miss Grit’s voice, the track’s floating synths and moving vocal melody that make this song a thing of beauty. A fitting closing number, strolling solo out into the dawn, the various lights of the night having found an enticing equilibrium.

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