Photo by Carina Najia
The best word to describe Pip Millett’s November 8th concert at O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire is authentic. Performing everything from her very first singles from 2018, to songs off of her incredible new album When Everything Is Better, I’ll Let You Know released only 2 weeks ago, her warm, bright energy spread through the crowd like wildfire.
Pip Millett stepped onto the music scene with her best foot forward. Her very first single, ‘Make Me Cry’, has acquired over 23 million streams on Spotify since its release in 2018, and was a clear fan-favourite. When she performed it live at the O2, the song’s opening lyric “F*** you and your lies,” echoed throughout the venue — almost too loudly.
Pip’s music is poetic and raw, making it very easily relatable to her fans. Her superpower is putting her feelings into words, or rather lyrics, often perfectly describing emotions without explicitly revealing the experience she is drawing on. ‘Make Me Cry’ could very easily be about heartbreak, but Pip reveals that this song is actually about her struggle with depression and anxiety, a theme she says inspired her to create her latest album.
When Everything Is Better, I’ll Let You Know is a spiritual journey from beginning to end. Pip describes the album as a “journey of healing”, although she candidly admits during her set that she “hate[s] saying it because [she doesn’t] want to sound like a d***”. She jokingly thanks her friends, family, and even mushrooms for helping her get through her darkest hour, and for supporting her through her career. The album is well represented by the song ‘Heal’, which is about the internal pep-talk that Pip has with herself about her mental health. Her message is that getting to a better place mentally is hard work, but that she’s proud of herself for taking steps towards that goal every day.
‘My Way’, another song off of the new album, gives a completely different perspective on Pip’s healing journey. Opposite lyrical themes are very frequently juxtaposed, such as where Pip sings “I feel so f***ing free” and “I feel so f***ing trapped” in the same verse. The song is about her frustrations at herself during her journey through life. It’s a reminder that growth and success are not linear; one minute you’ll feel free, and the next you’ll feel trapped. This is definitely one of the more vulnerable tracks that we’ve seen from Pip. She is clearly not afraid to open up about her struggles with mental health, but here she confesses that sometimes she feels like she’s taking one step forward and two steps back. The line “this is mine and you can’t touch it” is extremely empowering. Although her journey isn’t perfect, she claims it for what it is: hers.
Pip Millett is a true artist. She is vulnerable and poetic, and her fans adore her for that. The incredibly personal themes of self-love and healing makes her fans feel like they know her. In a crowd of 2,000 people, audience members waved and cheered so much that I’m unsure whether they were her fans or her friends. I look forward to seeing where her career will take her; with a candour and stage presence this strong, it’s clear this is only the beginning for Pip Millett.
Edited by Lucy Blackmur and Talia Andrea, Music Editors