Introducing: Gia Ford
Hometown: Wilmslow (now based in London)
Listen to: ‘TURBO DREAMS’, ‘Anywhere You Are!’, ‘HIGH CLASS TRAGEDY’
Signed to the same record label as Rina Sawayama, The 1975 and Wolf Alice after just a 60-second vocal clip on Instagram, I’m clearly not alone in thinking Gia Ford is the type of artist that grabs you from the first listen. No songs that slowly grow on you, no filler tracks on either EP: just captivating melodies and velvet vocals from minute one. Quite simply, I’m obsessed.
23-year-old Gia Ford—the alias of Molly McCormick—is an English alt-pop musician with an affection for 90s R&B. On first impressions, she might seem like the UK’s answer to New York’s queer icon King Princess; both have rich vocals, dreamy synths and thoughtful lyrics accompanied by an androgynous, 80s/90s aesthetic. And from her 80s American pop-culture-inspired moniker, to singing “Double denim at the Dairy Queen drive through” in ‘TURBO DREAMS’, Ford is clearly inspired by the US.
But over the course of two EPS and a November 2020 single, she has proven herself as a future icon in her own right. She is as versatile as she is mesmerising, blending slick production with experimental sampling in one song, and stripping it back to powerful vocals and piano in another.
2019’s POSTER BOY EP is a strong debut, with ‘FIRST OBSERVED IN LONDON’ and ‘CHANGE INTERLUDE’ punctuating the effortlessly cool ‘TURBO DREAMS’ and ‘HIGH CLASS TRAGEDY’, alongside the romantic ‘GIRL’ and ‘GOD, CAMERAS, EVERYONE’. And the powerful ‘DOES A THOUGHT COUNT IF YOU CAN’T SELL IT’ is a complete winner even if the song sadly only lasts 59 seconds. The samples found throughout the EP bring it to life, with the outro conversation in ‘HIGH CLASS TRAGEDY’ being a particular highlight: “Just because I’m not wearing a Missguided dress or heels doesn’t make me fucking weird” says an unidentified voice. Iconic.
Ford’s sophomore EP, Murder in the Dark (released in 2020) saw her turn up the experimentation a few more dials. From the heavy ‘Bathwater’ to the 90s/00s pop sound of Dizziness, Murder in the Dark is full of twists and turns but never leaves you too disoriented. And the brilliant ‘Anywhere You Are!’ leans into the dance genre halfway through, while Billie Holiday and Dusty Springfield are her main inspirations, but she’s clearly adept at turning her hand to multiple genres.
Ford’s latest release, ‘This Town’, sees her step away from the collage of samples scattered through the POSTER BOY and Murder in the Dark Eps. The fact that Ford’s voice is only partnered with a piano showcases her vocals better than ever. The single was released in November 2020, hopefully suggesting that new music is on the horizon in 2021. If Ford’s first two EPs are anything to go by, we’re in for more stunning tracks.
Words by Kat Smith
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