When an artist releases a body of work, it’s often expected to be polished and perfected to their liking. But that’s not always how it feels. London-based singer-songwriter Giulia Grispino, aka Sans Soucis, decided to embrace this incompleteness by titling her second EP Unfinished.
“We’re so focused on figuring out things, and I wanted to make a big statement: unfinished is not something bad,” she says. “We are unfinished, which means we still need to figure out things and we’ll always be figuring out things.”
Dramatic orchestral instruments give the title track a haunting, nostalgic sound a bit reminiscent of Joanna Newsom, as Grispino sings of coming to terms with childhood trauma. The second track, “Red,” is sweeter and gentler, with angelic harmonies providing the backdrop for Grispino’s poetic narration of a story about a lonely woman: “I colored the walls of all the cities I know / Red is my heart, my blood and soul.”
On the last song on the EP, “Make One From a Two,” strings figure heavily for a simultaneously classical and poppy sound. This was Grispino’s first time working with string instruments, which was a long-time goal of hers.
Grispino started making music and producing it independently in college and started a band, then began her career as a solo artist under the name Sans Soucis last year. The moniker is a French nickname that Grispino’s grandmother gave her when she was little, and it translates to “no worries” — a spirit she strives to bring to her work.
“When I decided to embark on this project of mine, it felt like my songwriting had to be in tune with my childhood, which is the best version of anyone,” she says. “Experience makes us heavy, but I wanted to make sure my music was liberating for me and other people.”
Even though her music carries the positivity and curiosity of childhood, it still deals with weighty subjects; much of it centers on examining and overcoming trauma. She hopes her music conveys to listeners that “traumas don’t define us,” she explains. “It’s something that we deal with day by day. Purposes stay the same, but goals change, and overcoming trauma allows us to actually keep changing and keep being unfinished.” Her past releases range from the indie-pop-esque “Visible” to the spiritual, harmony-driven “Unchained.”
Her influences also represent a wide range, from jazz to rock to folk, with Nick Drake inspiring her latest EP. “I loved his music and wanted to create this songwriting that is evocative and folky and has string elements and reminds me of jazz,” she says. “It brings me back to childhood for some reason.”
Grispino feels the EP’s timing is appropriate given what’s going on in the world. “It’s something really intimate, and I know that when people listen to music, they need to be in the mood for it,” she says. “I think isolation is the best mood for this EP, and I hope it brings a bit of introspection for them.”
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