New UK-based pop star Flo Gallop just released her debut single, “21,” and it’s chock-full of personality, youthfulness, and fun. Much like several other twenty-one-year-olds (myself included), Gallop seems lost in where she is in life. Seeing her friends “work 9 til’ 5” while she’s “broke without a penny to [her],” the song starts out as a laundry-list of young adult stressors. Yet, the point of the track is to distract you from all of that—push those thoughts away in favor of a lush but subtle beat, some bright visuals, and the realization that you’re “only 21 anyway.”
What starts as a transparent depiction of Gallop’s life turns quickly into a celebration of life’s simplest moments. Whether it’s drinking wine in the park with friends, recalling her old stained high tops, or even just the act of singing, Gallop gives endless examples of how to enjoy life even when you seem stuck. While I wouldn’t ever compare their musical qualities, the track brings a similar aesthetic to Macklemore’s fun “thrift shop,” only with a little less novelty. But similar points are there—they recognize they’re not high up in life right now, but they make do with what they have.
Gallop’s striking debut is truthful, but fun; relatable but nuanced. I’d be interested to see where her songwriting goes, as she admitted to Rolling Stone “It’s the only song I’ve ever written about me.” So, with new topics ahead, who knows what kind of different approaches we’ll see in the near future? I’m not sure, but I’m excited to find out.
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