For the past five years, the Irish artist Jessica Smyth has been releasing lithe, bilingual (English and Spanish) pop songs under the moniker Biig Piig to growing acclaim. She was recently named as part of the BBC’s Sound of 2023 longlist, and is a co-founder of one of London’s most exuberant DIY music collectives, NiNE8. Her Bubblegum mixtape is Biig Piig’s eclectic first full-length, and it’s as buoyant and taut as its title hints.
Like a less pompy, more R&B-leaning Jockstrap release, this is off-kilter but glossy music, all topped with Smyth’s beguilingly delicate vocal and candid lyrics about chasing highs. It’s a record that deals with her sense of self – on the airy beats of Ghosting she offers: “I could be anyone… disappear when I want” – and self-destructive behaviours: on the heady, dancefloor-channelling Kerosene she implores a lover: “Baby please/ come set it all alight”.
The production is immaculate, flitting unpredictably between dreamlike breeziness and club-facing cacophony (Picking Up is a standout in this regard). Though Bubblegum is brief, at seven songs, Biig Piig’s sound brims with poise and promise.