Giselle released her first full length project in the form of a mixtape titled Not Ready to Grow Up back in November and she shows no signs of slowing down.
This is one of the most powerful releases I’ve come across in the last year. At only 9 tracks, this record isn’t drawn out. It says what it needs to say and leaves you to contemplate the subject matter.
Every one of the 9 songs is set to be accompanied by a music video. Every video will be female directed, creating a nice change of perspective. That’s especially important in today’s society and even more so in the music industry.
I have always enjoyed Giselle’s music, but this is the first project she’s put out that I feel is complete. Not only is there a whole story but the way it’s told is truly engaging. Her haunting vocals remind me of Azure Ray. It’s comforting yet somehow chilling.
The mixtape starts out strong with “Epigraph”. A harp coupled with angelic vocal harmonies swell up to invite you in.
Spoken word then follows that makes you rewind the track to make sure you heard the words correctly.
The title track, “Not Ready to Grow Up” literally sounds like it was made to be the soundtrack to a Broadway show. This song in particular reminds me of “One Less Bell to Answer” in that it’s delivered calmly yet is incredibly intense in subject matter.
“Child Idols” is where I began to hear the influence of Lana del Rey. The breathy vocals create harmonies that in turn seem to create entire atmospheres.
“I Woke Up” begins with a German parent saying “Again!” alluding to a child practicing something and being chastised for not being good enough. The soaring chorus makes you close your eyes and feel rather than listen.
“The Canary” is where the intense feelings permeating this record calm down a bit. Dissonant piano chords drive behind a chant of “was it worth it? did i deserve it?” The simple instrumental lets Giselle showcase her vocal abilities even more.
“Fuck em, Brand em, Leave em” begins with spoken word “all men are like that, even the good ones”. This song describes the type of person who gives an entire gender a bad name. As a male it reminds me of how a huge percentage of men act and how it effects the women on the other end.
“Will You Be There” is the closest thing to a lullaby/ballad on this release and it serves well to cool down before heading into the finale.
“Remember (Walkin in the Sand)” kicks in with 70’s sounding guitar and organ. One of the more diverse instrumentations on this record and for sure one of the most impressive steps out of the box.
Finally the culmination of all this emotion, “Erosion”. A crawling bass line begins and I honestly can’t tell if the background vocals are a chorus of people or Giselle harmonizing over herself. Either way it’s extremely well done. This album as a whole is a very comforting listen as well as one that makes you think about actual social issues.
There are so many different types of instruments used and somehow they all work perfectly together to create one of the better releases that’s ever come across my desk.
With a voice like this, we can only hope Giselle is planning to keep creating for years to come.
Listen to Not Ready to Grow Up in it’s entirety below: