Single Review: Pip Hall - 'Ill At Ease'

Teenage dark-pop artist Pip Hall releases her second single, 'Ill At Ease' out now via My Little Empire Records.

I’ve been to Preston once. I saw The Fratellis back in 2013 at 53 degrees and it was arguably the worst gig I’ve ever seen (rivalled by the same band playing at Y Not Festival not six months later) - so to discover that My Little Empire’s newest popstar in the making Pip Hall was from there made me somewhat uneasy. The jitters continued as I read that her music was described as “dark pop”, the former word being, for me, an accurate description of her hometown!

However, as soon as the Tribes-esque guitars of 'Ill At Ease' chimed in - all fear was melted away and replaced by a soothing combination of multi-tracked harmonies, subtle tambourine and a subtler synth hook that. given to brighter lights of the indie scene. would be blared loudly and nonsensically.

Loud and brash is not Pip’s style. She likes to lure you in with the intricacy of her music. The fact that the chorus is her beautiful multi-tracked imploring you to “come on” should be enough. But the individual melodies keep coming and build up into a climax that sounds huge and tiny all at once.

This song also completely and utterly disregards the term “dark pop”, purely because everything about the song harbours a sense of optimism. And the optimism surrounding this girl is completely deserved. Despite the obvious awkwardness the lyrics in this song portrays, the song possesses a confidence that doesn’t swagger as much as it sultrily dances around. Pip Hall deserves her national praise and if 'Ill At Ease' is anything to go by; that praise is only going to keep spreading.

Words of James Kitchen