Half Gringa Announces Sophomore Album “Force to Reckon” with “1990”

The reflection on intrusive thoughts is the first single to precede the LP, out August 28.

Half Gringa introduced herself back in 2017 with her LP Gruñona (“grouch”), which paired the breezy indie pop of fellow Chicago scenesters like Varsity and V.V. Lightbody with an ear for Midwestern folk and a bit of the attitude of the record’s title. Today, Isabel Olive has announced the proper follow-up to this release, Force to Reckon, which promises to add a bit of Latinx pop to the formula (as well as a healthy dose of Gia Margaret), though lead single “1990” takes us back in time to her fiery debut. 

Written after Olive missed the last few moments of a loved one’s life who passed away mid-tour, the record is an even more introspective dive into the songwriter’s psyche, this time spotlighting Olive’s grief. “None of the songs on this record resolve, really,” she notes. “Many end in the middle of a thought, because this record is about how much I’m still in the middle of my grieving process… I spend a lot of time looking away from things I don’t want to deal with, but I know they’re still there. And my eyes are getting tired, I guess.”

The upswinging “1990” in particular wrestles with intrusive thoughts, with Olive attempting to re-assign more positive meanings to memories tied to the year of the track’s title. “Sometimes the past creeps in slowly and sometimes it jumps out and surprises me,” she shares. “Whenever I have an unprompted flashback because of a situation, phrase, smell, etc.—this song is about that. I try not to let intrusive thoughts about the past get in my way of moving forward, and I wanted this song to give them a positive energy so it’s fuel instead of a dead end.”

Stream the track below. Force to Reckon drops August 28—you can bookmark it here.


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