LAST week, Kirsty Grant unveiled her impressive Chain Reaction EP showcasing her considerable range across her pop and alt-pop standing.

A six-track effort, it includes previous singles Hurt but I Smile, Give & Take and Bad Boys, Good Girls.

More than a year of work went into the tracks, and draws upon her own personal experiences. Grant dips in and out a range of topics including relationships, empowerment, anxiety, loss and personal growth.

She says: “Chain Reaction was over a year in the making; I have put everything I have into all six tracks.

“When the title was decided, it really set the tone for the project for me, with how I wanted the track list to be ordered, and the visuals that I wanted to go along side it.

"The definition of chain reaction was something that I thought fit the songs perfectly, as a lot of the tracks are reflective and talking about the past and looking at situations in hindsight once you’ve overcome them.

“And where I am right now is a product of a chain reaction from all the of experiences I have had, and the people I have met, just like the tracks. There is a common thread throughout the project, and I can’t wait to see which songs are people’s favourites. My favourite changes every day!”

Diving deep into the background of the tracks, Kirriemuir native Grant gives The Weekender a detailed track-by-track of her Chain Reaction EP.

Intro (Chain Reaction)

This was the last track that was written for the EP. The project title “Chain Reaction” was already chosen, so, in February of this year, I decided that I wanted to write an intro that could sum up and describe the overall meaning of the tracklist – and the title choice.

It helped complete the project and it tied it all together nicely. It was the first time since I started to release music, that I needed to create a cohesive project, where all of the songs and visuals would all match. So, by doing this intro, it was the first time I felt truly proud of my artistry.

I wanted it to be extremely stripped, so the attention is fully focused on the vocals/vocoder, so the listener could hear every word. The meaning behind the lyrics, is all about experiencing pain that is hard to recover from, and how that has affected the person you are going forward.

The transition from the Intro in Bad Boys, Good Girls is my favourite part of the song, and I am so happy it worked out considering the Intro was started after Bad Boys, Good Girls was completed.

Bad Boys, Good Girls

This was the track that made me fully commit to creating this EP. Once there was a solid demo of the track, I knew this couldn’t just be a single, but had to be a part of a bigger project.

It’s such a relatable topic, as everyone has been messed about by a potential love interest at some point. The track is a little bit tongue and cheek, and is actually about heartbreak, but wrapped in an energetic and upbeat rhythm.

I actually teased this song back in October, with the release of my first music video for my track “Back to Sleep”. Right at the end of the video, you can hear a faint synth introducing Bad Boys, Good Girls. Going to show that this song has been in the works for quite some time! I couldn’t be prouder of this song, it has given me so much confidence as an artist, and set the tone for the music that I want to make in the future.

Hurt But I Smile

Hurt But I Smile is probably the most personal track I have released to date. It’s all about anxiety and knowing you are holding yourself back. There have been so many times that I have been invited places, or to take part in things, but my anxiousness has stopped me.

Lyrics like “I keep digging my own grave” were important to describe this songs message, as I will feel lonely and down, even though I chose to stay at home and not accept invitations to places, all due to anxiety.

This was the hardest track to write and complete. In the session, it had a completely different verse section and chorus, but it just didn’t feel quite right yet, so I went and rewrote the chorus myself in my living room ¬– that’s probably is why it is extra personal. The strings section at the end is probably my favourite part of the whole song, I always wanted a string section in a song of mine.

Give & Take

This is a very upbeat fun song about always being the one putting your all into the relationship, and never getting any effort in return.

It sat on the shelf for a long time, and when I was piecing together the tracklist for the EP, I thought this one fit in well with the others, still holding the common thread of empowerment. It is reflecting on the situation with hindsight, and being able to see the situation so much clearer now you’re out of it, which a lot of the tracks do on this project.

The bridge section is my favourite part of this song, as it takes such a dark detour and is moody, then comes back into the last super pop chorus with a bang!

Bad Taste

Bad Taste never fails to put a smile on my face when the chorus hits. I’m so proud of this song, it was one of those sessions that after the song was written, I felt really proud of myself.

It is about realising you’re making similar bad decisions over and over again, and questioning your judgement and taste. Realising you are worth way more. I feel like everyone needs to hear that message, similar to other tracks on the EP, it is such a relatable topic. It can be about a relationship, but also friends, anyone you surround yourself with who might not be the best for you or treat you how you deserve.

This was the first track from the whole EP that was ready to be sent to mixing, which was such an exciting first step to the completion of the project. The night before the session, I couldn’t sleep and was very restless. In one of the several times I woke up, I remember the words “Bad Taste” coming into my mind for no reason, and I wrote it in my phone notes, and went back to sleep. I didn’t think much of it, but when I mentioned it in the session, we decided that could be the title and went from there!

Now We Don’t

This track was written in December 2020, was the last full track addition to the EP, and is one of my favourites. This is another session that I came out of feeling so proud of myself. This is a rarer occurrence that you would think; normally after sessions I leave and I doubt myself and my abilities.

In this session, Charlie, Anthony and I pushed each other to get every lyric bang on, and nail every melody. I really feel that every lyric is perfect and the meaning behind the song really moves me.

My favourite lyric is “doing all our things alone, the things we did, but now we don’t”. I couldn’t wait to record the vocals after the session, as I had already decided that this had to be the final track on the EP.

It is all about those traditions you have with someone in a relationship or friendship. When you spend years of your life with somebody, glued to the hip, it’s heart-breaking to try and move on if the relationship ends. Those daily traditions – bars you would go to, shows that you watched with them – are a constant reminder of what you once had.