Recommended Tracks: TATTOOED ON MY HEART, SOMEONE ELSE, MY SHINE
Artists You May Like: Dua Lipa, SHAED, FLETCHER
What does it mean to be a champion? Is it someone who perseveres through every obstacle placed in their path? Someone who believes in themselves? Someone like Bishop Briggs?
After releasing her debut album last year, and showing us that she is a force of nature, Bishop Briggs is already back with her sophomore album, CHAMPION. The title offers a powerful visual, as I tend to think of superhumans who seem capable of doing almost anything. However, Bishop Briggs tells us that there is more to being a champion than just being amazing all of the time. Sometimes, you have to go through some murky stuff in order to come out on top.
If you do not know Bishop Briggs, then you are not prepared for the first track on the album. This track, “I STILL LOVE YOU,” is a short opener, but it is full of drama and emotion – which are staples of our iconic heroine. Bishop Briggs is reflecting on what seems to be the driving force behind this album, which is a break up. The track has its tender moments, like when she coos, “I still love you,” but it also has its potent moments, like when she sings, “I knew I had to let it go.” When Bishop Briggs sings, you listen. But when Bishop Briggs sings about a break up, you break down.
There are a lot of empowering songs on this album, such as “CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?” and “WILD.” While these songs do not paint pretty stories, they show us a resilience that goes unmatched. They remind us that we can still come from a place of power, even if we feel at our weakest. For instance, on “CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?,” Bishop Briggs sings about being unappreciated, but now that she is out of the relationship, she asks her ex if he is missing her not being around. She goes, “It’s quiet and you’re lonely / Wishing you could hold me / Can you hear me now?”
Of course, there are some darker songs on the album, such as “TATTOOED ON MY HEART” and “SOMEONE ELSE.” When you hear “TATTOOED ON MY HEART,” you get lost in all of the elements of the song: the clapping, the piano accompaniment, Bishop Briggs’s rich timbre. While it is still a very sad song, there is a part of you that just wants to be happy. In contrast, “SOMEONE ELSE” is that song that will drive you to tears. It is haunting, as there is a repetitive piano line throughout the track, but it is also very personal. Bishop Briggs said that this track contains everything that she could not find herself saying out loud, yet it has been really healing. It is an essential track to the album.
A couple of stand outs on CHAMPION are “JEKYLL & HIDE” and “MY SHINE.” Not only do these tracks sound different from the other tracks on the album, they sound different from other tracks in general. There is a creative “ska” section in “JEKYLL & HIDE” that takes us into a loud, alt-rock chorus, filled with heavy drums and gritty guitars. Mirroring this interesting juxtaposition of sounds is “MY SHINE,” which has contained, quiet verses that give way to bombastic choruses.
Overall, CHAMPION is an unconventional break up album that showcases the highs and lows of the process. There are a lot of times in life where you can feel conflicted, when a situation leaves you feeling helpless, but confident at the same time. It might be hard to get through it and make sense of it, but once you do, you will emerge a champion.
You can stream CHAMPION on sites like Apple Music and Spotify.