Image: Elif Gönen
With four EP’s and a string of singles to her name, BIIG PIIG has treated us to her debut mixtape, BUBBLEGUM. Inspired by her time in Los Angeles, the release offers a concise and reflective glimpse into Jessica Smyth’s, the musical master mind behind BIIG PIIG, inner psyche. Vibrant and textural soundscapes flow beneath the singers wispy vocal performance, as she presents a more self-assured and honest presence.
Opening with the euphoric Only One, Smyth displays a vulnerability as she dissects her own behavioural patterns within a new relationship. Conversational lyricism captures a childlike, almost naive approach to falling in love but one that is all too relatable. The track sets the tone for the genre-blurring sonic exploration that is to follow, laced with nostalgia-fuelled synth work and early-2000’s inspired R&B melodies. The subdued Liquorice instead focuses on the earlier days of a relationship, documenting intimately shared moments. Liquorice offers a more spatial soundscape, allowing moments of breath around Smyth’s sweet and hushed vocals atop a garage-infused beat serving as a bridge between her earlier work and current musical output.
Lead single Kerosene masterfully builds tension through spoken-word vocals from Smyth, dynamic production and vivid lyricism. The songs simmering energy is driven by a pulsating beat and vocal loops that together form a tribal like soundscape, with disco-tinged sonics cutting through. The nostalgia continues on This Is What They Meant, transporting 80’s influences into a contemporary pop soundscape that will have you grooving the night away.
BUBBLEGUM takes a sultry turn with Ghosting, a track which finds a self-assured Smyth recalling on a past flame above a bubbling bass line. Throughout the release, frenzied and dynamic soundscapes run-rampant, most prevalent on Picking Up. Featuring American artist Deb Never, the song ebbs and flows between spatial verses and rhythmic choruses that builds towards an energised ending. The track explores the singers own loneliness and hunting for adrenaline inducing experiences to distract you from the cycle you find yourself within.
On closer In The Dark, we find Smyth in a completely new place when compared to Only One. The delicate relationship present earlier on the mixtape has crumbled, with the singer searching for distractions to forget about her former lover and move on. Shimmering production unfurls beneath Smyth’s mesmerising vocals, bound together by indie-leaning bass lines and percussion. There’s a thread of evolution and growth woven throughout the mixtape, forwarded by the singers own self-examination. Smyth is open and honest about her own hand at play within a relationship, showcased through introspective lyricism. Whilst one chapter comes to a close on BUBBLEGUM, it’s only the beginning of what is set to be an illustrious career for BIIG PIIG.
BUBBLEGUM is out now! Read our interview with BIIG PIIG here.