Bishop Briggs’ new album ‘CHAMPION’ flaunts the songwriter’s vocal prowess

Bishop Briggs’ new album ‘CHAMPION’ flaunts the songwriter’s vocal prowess

Photo: Eric Ray Davidson
Words by James Robertson

The British artist returns with a solid sophomore LP.

Sarah Grace McLaughlin, better known by the stage name she adopted from her parents’ Scottish hometown Bishopbriggs, made a splash in 2016 with her Platinum-selling single ‘River’, which placed her in the ring as a promising indie-pop star in the making.

Having grown up singing in Tokyo’s karaoke bars as a child, Bishop Briggs pulls through with a vocally impressive collection of songs.

Her second album CHAMPION drops a solid kaleidoscope of voice-trembling ballads and foot-stomping pop singalongs. With many of the tunes exploring themes of loneliness and relationship breakdown – although these traits may recur a little too frequently throughout the tracklist – Bishop Briggs finds inventive ways to keep them fresh.

Drawing from the classic gothic novella, ‘JEKYLL & HYDE’ discusses a polarising relationship over well-produced guitar crunches, with creeping vocal inflection peppered throughout. She dips into uplifting, soul balladry with ‘TATTOOED ON MY HEART’, which provides a feel-good motif to her heavier moments.

Much of the songs on this sophomore effort don’t pull any surprises, but it’s Bishop Briggs’ vocal chops that carry through every track, allowing the listener to forget some uninspired songwriting stumbles.