Sigrid is a pop star without the pop star sheen; with a down-to-earth familiarity that is a breath of fresh air. Her songs soar when she pays attention to life's seemingly mundane details; instead of reaching for grand new ideas in her songwriting she sounds as though she's merely suggesting new ways to view everyday challenges, imparting wisdom and bravado via punchy pop anthems.
Her debut album, Sucker Punch, starts the way its title suggests – the opening song is a knockout power-pop tune, with a huge chorus that's equal parts Lorde and Britpop. It's a strong introduction to Sigrid's knack for respecting our most regular interactions: "meet me in the hallway/for a cup of coffee by the stairs", she sings in the first verse, a quiet beginning that makes the chorus's sugar-rush explosion all the more impactful.
The first half of the album that follows is stacked with slick pop songs that make Sucker Punch a strong debut straight out of the gate. Basic finds Sigrid pleading for a sense of normality in a relationship that's become way too confusing, as an addictive vocal hook propels the song towards an emotionally cathartic conclusion. Don't Feel Like Crying is a stomping dance tune about becoming your own saviour in heartbreak: "I dry my eyes cause I don't feel like crying".
The album starts to wane past the halfway mark; there are a couple of tracks that don't break out of tried-and-true pop formulas, nor do they manage to make an impression within that framework. But Sigrid's wisdom and clarity still manages to surprise; on Business Dinners, a late highlight, she lays out the way label control and expectations of profitability placed on young pop stars can corrode their creativity. It's bold, direct songwriting, the kind that suggests Sigrid has laid down the groundwork for a long and exciting career.
Sigrid, Sucker Punch
Not quite as impactful as its title - but a breath of fresh air nonetheless