Gia Ford’s new EP might as well have this unofficial motto: “go big or go home”. The nine-song collection is a bold concept that draws from prescient TV show Black Mirror, legendary film director Quentin Tarantino and the odd campy horror movie thrown in for good measure. Spooky stuff, indeed.
Setting out to create a comical, lesbian vampire-themed EP, Ford explains that the idea snowballed into its own, with the track ‘Bathwater’ being the lynchpin. “I put the story together as I wrote it, it wasn’t a conscious narrative,” she says. It’s brash, it’s fun and striking.
Dirty Hit is the perfect place for this artist, then. The record label – home to The 1975, Beabadoobee, Rina Sawayama – settles for nothing less than instigating a creative revolution. Ford, one of its newest signees is wants to reimagine pop storytelling with her ‘Murder In The Dark’, with largely satisfying results.
Ford made her debut with ‘Poster Boy’ EP in October 2019, where her genre-blending pop was outlined: lo-fi R&B-meets-80s production. With ‘Murder In The Dark’, she broadens her approach, backed by production from Spector frontman Fred Macpherson. On songs, ‘Bathwater’ and ‘Waterslide’ the vision of old and new is executed perfectly. There are R&B-drenched synthesizers and distorted, drowning vocals drowning on both, providing ample experimentation that illustrates horror-luvin’ story.
The sublime sultriness on the EP’s title track (“Give me a taste of your venom / I can’t get enough and I always crave you,”) that successfully pushes forward that Tarantino-esque feeling she had in mind. It makes up for the moments where the tension is lost ever so slightly, like on the pop-meets-jazz cut, ‘Dizziness’.
‘Murder In The Dark’ has an ambitious concept underlying each of its nine songs – one of lust and blood. The diverse production can sometimes distract from the campy, horror movie theme, but it’s remarkable how Ford can salvage her storyline through sheer presence alone.
Release date: May 1
Record label: Dirty Hit