New wave of empowering pop
Scottish singer-songwriter Sarah Grace McLaughlin, more famously known as Bishop Briggs, has been working in the industry since she moved out to Los Angeles in 2015. Briggs would perform around the city any chance she got and eventually recorded her first single “Wild Horses,” which was featured in an Acura commercial. This helped “Wild Horses” rise on the charts and brought Briggs a bit into the spotlight. Briggs has recorded a few EPs and an album over the years has performed at Coachella and other festivals and has most recently released her second studio album titled Champion.
The album opens with the track, “I Still Love You” that is very reminiscent of Bebe Rexha’s rough yet pleasant vocals but with Lorde’s famous alternative indie-pop sound. That sound continues in “Can You Hear Me Now” which is still very akin to some of Lorde’s discography, but with a bit more of a punk twist, especially in the chant-like chorus “Can you hear me now?/ It’s quiet and you’re lonely/ wishing you could hold me/ can you hear me now?.” There’s also a track titled “My Shine” that flows smoothly with the spoken-vocal style that’s currently popular in the pop scene.
“Champion,” the album’s namesake, sets a good tone for the rest of the album; it radiates power. The tune is an upbeat pop beat accompanied by empowering lyrics like “Was feeling so weak/ but baby I’m strong/ little did I know/ I’m a champion,” and is one of the tracks on the album likely to find commercial radio play.
Listeners enter a slightly sadder note with the song “Tattooed On My Heart,” that features a pretty piano and a steady drumbeat with a chorus that says “It’s always you, taking me for granted/ always you, that plays me as the fool/ if I’d known you’d rip it apart/ oh I wish I didn’t get your name tattooed on my heart,” and has the feeling of a sadly sweet pop ballad.
The third single off the album, following “Champion” and “Tattooed On My Heart” is “Jekyll & Hyde,” which opens with a haunting organ beat that blends into a catchy pop-rock sound with a melody that’s guaranteed to get stuck in people’s head. The album ends on a quiet melancholic song “I Tried” that is less focused on the production, and instead emphasizes her strong vocals and sad words more than any other song in the bunch.
Despite the quality of voice seeming familiar or the musical sound being similar to that of other indie-pop stars, Champion is uniquely Bishop Briggs. From powerful vocals to infectious melodies and beautifully written lyrics, Bishop Briggs definitely has the talent and the potential to hit mainstream success in the music world.