Album Walkthrough: G Flip talks the love and heartbreak of About Us
Out today, G Flip's debut album is a warm - yet also heart-breaking - collection of tracks that solidify her place.
Header image by Reuben Moore.
In February 2018, G Flip put About You - a song reflecting on the break-up of a girlfriend, written a year earlier - on triple j Unearthed. From here, the story is well-known. Later that day, she started appearing on local curation-based music media; then triple j rotation; then a coveted (and completely head-spinning) Best New Music acclaim on Pitchfork; then appearances on influential international media from Rolling Stone to NPR. She showcased at Austin's SXSW a few weeks later - eight times, to be exact - and quickly joined the lineups of everything from Splendour In The Grass to Lollapalooza, her glow-up of a head-spinning pace not slowing down.
When About You arrived, it was hard to place where G Flip's career evolution would leave her. Many were convinced that she could rival electronic heavyweights - and label mates - in Flume and Nick Murphy as our next big international export. Others, perhaps threatened or intimidated by her rapid success, deemed her a "one-hit wonder" and "industry plant", the latter a label she's still shaking off 18 months later. G Flip's sudden explosion is otherwise unheard of in Australian music - albeit something becoming more common internationally in the streaming age, like the runaway success story of Lil Nas X - but underneath the hazy drums and emotionally-drawn vocal of About You was a very real and unmanufactured story which now, on her debut album About Us, is finally being unearthed.
Spanning ten tracks of emotive pop songwriting and rollercoastering love, About Us is G Flip telling her story in a way that glossy print features can't. It details the on-again-off-again relationship with her girlfriend - "We fought and were crazy. We’re both creative and elaborate and dramatic," she confesses - right through to the pressures of being thrown into international limelight; the latter detailed on the remarkably intimate and emotional Bring Me Home; "the only song on the album that doesn’t directly talk about the relationship." Suffering panic attacks on the road, she began seeing a therapist and clearing commitments to try clear her head. Bring Me Home, in a way, acts like a therapeutic session that allows G Flip to get it all off her chest, and that's something you can hear in her aching, one-take vocal. "2018 was an epic, exciting, exhausting year for me and my brain struggled to keep up. I had quite a bit of anxiety and frankly, it scared the shit out of me. It was really overwhelming and this song is about that," she explains - and that's something you can hear as she vocal croaks with heartbreaking emotion. "Everything's changed and now I'm not okay," she sings.
About Us isn't a sad record though. While Bring Me Home is the album's lowest emotional point, the ending half of Waking Up Tomorrow sees the pair reconvene ("Are we back together or not?" she questions at the song's end), and despite soundtracking another break-up due to a lack of focus, Killing My Time contrasts it with one of the year's brightest choruses; an earworming vocal and flurry of synth which create one of the album's best moments. By the end of the album, the spacey 2 Million, the pair look forward into the future with love - a hopeful ending to an album otherwise plagued with internal imbalance and doubt. "2 Million closes our story with hope for the future and what is yet to come now that we are back together," she explains. "Getting married, having kids, growing old until we die and all that’s left of us is our story that we left behind in my music."
Contrasting sombre lyricism and down-tempo songwriting with uplifting productions make About Us not just the closing of what feels like G Flip's first chapter, but the opening of what's next. While the sentence that plagued About You was "she can't do this again", it becomes clear that with About Us the question is now "How will she do this again?" G Flip is on top of her game, and now with a whole new world to write about, her opportunities are endless.
Stream About Us below via Future Classic, with a track-by-track walkthrough of the album by G Flip herself. Catch her on tour this November - more details and tickets available HERE.
Lover, the opening track, works as the exposition like in a Shakespearan play, it sets up the story that follows.
I AM NOT AFRAID
I was recently dumped and was going through the resilience phase you go through when you break up with someone. Everyone has roadblocks in life, tough situations that are hard to get through and the only way to overcome them are to say ‘I Am Not Afraid’. Whether it’s getting out of a toxic relationship, coming out to your family or getting bullied. Life throws shit at you and you have to be brave. You have to stand tall and rise above it.
DRINK TOO MUCH
I wrote it after a big night at Melbourne club, Revolver. It’s a fun song but it also tells how I was feeling at the time: I got dumped, I was lonely and I was young and dumb. It follows the flip side of when you break up with someone and you want to go out partying and meeting people to forget about them but secretly you realise that it’s not helping the situation at all.
Explores my feelings after I had my nights out partying and I'd continuously wake up alone in bed, wishing that she was by my side.
WAKING UP TOMORROW
This track follows the utter depths of my heartbreak, the rock bottom feeling that I had without this person in my life anymore. The second verse gives a glimpse that she is back in my life for the first time and it's about the feeling of, ‘You’re back here and I hate when you’re not around’. By the end of the song, it’s in question: are we back together or not?”
We are back together trying to resolve our issues but are continuously fighting then making up, over and over again.
KILLING MY TIME
Explores how distracted I am being caught up in our relationship. It was hard to escape and be productive so I inevitably ended up breaking up with her because I wanted to focus.
BRING ME HOME
It’s the only song on the album that doesn’t directly talk about the relationship and talks about me dealing with anxiety. 2018 was an epic, exciting, exhausting year for me and my brain struggled to keep up. I had quite a bit of anxiety and frankly, it scared the shit out of me. It was really overwhelming and this song is about that. It’s ok not to be ok sometimes.
On About You, I summarise all the chaos and ups and downs of our relationship. The bridge lyrics “let me go, or give me one more chance baby” is the final call out for us to lock it down and give it one more crack. The drums come in as a positive explosion and the last chorus soars as we are back together. The song purposely starts with 1 synth and ends with 2 signifying we are back together.
It’s like the end credits of the movie: the story is finished, we’re back together. What could happen next? What are my next songs about? What’s to come? It’s a very hopeful song.
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