One Foot In Front Of The Other

Griff

One Foot In Front Of The Other

It’s hard to think of a better title for Griff’s 2021 mixtape than One Foot in Front of the Other. On the heels of the Hertfordshire-born singer-songwriter receiving the year’s Rising Star Brit Award, it's as fitting for Griff’s cusp-of-superstardom status as it is for this EP's exploration of moving on from heartbreak. “It felt like how I feel towards everything, whether that’s my relationships with my family, with myself, with my love life or with my music career,” the singer, real name Sarah Griffiths, tells Apple Music. “There’s this sense of vulnerability and the unknown, and all you can really do is just put one foot in front of the other.”
The tracks here were largely written, recorded and produced by Griff during the 2020 lockdown, which brings raw edges to her open-hearted music: ’80s-style pop inspired by HAIM, Lorde and Taylor Swift, among others. “It was just me experimenting, messing about in my room and seeing what comes of that,” she says. “I was trying to write honest, reflective lyrics. I think a lot of it is quite rough and ready, but that’s what I love about it.” But while the singer deals with some tough topics on One Foot in Front of the Other—from allowing yourself to trust again after heartbreak (“Heart of Gold”) to pleading with a loved one to get their priorities in order (“Earl Grey Tea”)—by its end, she’s ready to stand tall (see the uplifting “Walk”). Read on as Griff talks us through the mixtape, one track at a time.
“Black Hole” “This was written in my last session before COVID happened. I was writing with [UK songwriter] Lostboy and [producer] SIBA. We landed on there being this big black hole. On one side, there’s a real honesty and ruthlessness about talking about the emptiness we can all feel. But then the production brings lightness and humour to that. The lyrics are so melodramatic, and it’s almost trying to create that sense of dancing through your heartbreak. It’s about owning that feeling.”
“One Foot in Front of the Other” “I guess this song is a bit of a part two to ‘Black Hole’. ‘Black Hole’ is all minor, and then you hit ‘One Foot in Front of the Other’, which is very major. It’s about someone talking about how it feels to suddenly and slowly make progress out of this dark place. No one else realises that you’re making progress, but it’s in those small things where suddenly it feels like there’s light at the end of the tunnel. It’s that vulnerable feeling of walking a tightrope. It’s scary, but you’re getting there.”
“Shade of Yellow” “A song that’s about escape. There were many times in my childhood where, because it was either chaotic or not that great at home, I’d find refuge in my best friend's house or something. The lamp in this song is a metaphor for always coming back to a person, and it’s good to admit that you’re coming back for them. But the beat is quite tumultuous all the way through. For me, I was picturing driving at nighttime. Which, I guess, is kind of what this song is about. It’s about just trying to find safety and home in different places.”
“Heart of Gold” “This is very sparse in its production. It was quite inspired by ‘Royals’ by Lorde, in the sense that the song is just drums and vocals. It’s about being a cautious lover and being a bit broken with someone that’s almost this perfect person. It’s about not wanting to be hurt again and about not really knowing how to open up again. There’s a contrast in this fragile girl who has a heart of stone.”
“Remembering My Dreams” “It’s about the fact that, in the daytime, we can be busy and fine, and then suddenly, the moment you’re asleep, things come back—whether it’s your ex or your fears or anxieties. It’s about the frustration of thinking you’re fine, yet these things always seem to find a way back.”
“Earl Grey Tea” “This song is about priorities. In this case, it’s about someone who’s really obsessive about their health, and about how you can be so focused on that, whilst all the important stuff around you is falling apart. But you could replace health with a career or whatever—it’s just about being too focused on one thing and how, by the end of it all, the most important people around you won’t be there. The Earl Grey tea thing specifically came from the fact that my dad started to drink lots of it because he heard it was really good for you.”
“Walk” “I’m not going to leave you on a downer, so this was a bit of a release. It’s a love song, but it’s more platonic than anything. It’s just about anyone in your life who does’t realise how much potential they have or how great they are. The song is happy and encouraging, and it has all my main influences in it. It’s a fun one to end on.”

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