Isabel Olive, the Chicago-based singer-songwriter who records as Half Gringa, insists that her music is the product of a childhood spent listening to alternative rock and visiting grocery stores that pump out country music. “Or when your mom loved Bruce Springsteen and Maná," she says in a press release, "and sometimes your brain starts playing them at the same time.” On her second album, Force to Reckon — premiering below ahead of its release next Friday, August 28 — Olive doesn't fully shoot the stadium-filling grandiosity of those larger-than-life luminaries, but her songcraft strikes a perfect balance between modest Midwestern alt-rock and sweeping balladic melody. It's an appropriate palette for an album that is, at points, struggling desperately to come to terms with grief, particularly over the loss of Olive's grandmother, who passed away while Olive was on tour.
"None of the songs on this record resolve, really," Olive says of the album. "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.”
Listen to Force to Reckon below and pre-order the album here.