Chrissie Huntley’s third and final release of 2021 “Groundhog Day” was written in the midst of the UK's third national lockdown. Through “catchy riff and pop synths,” Huntley “juxtaposes the frustration and mundanity of self-isolation with a bright and bouncy sonic optimism.”
Huntley states: “Lockdown 1 and 2 I really struggled with. By the time the third came around, I came up with a new strategy to keep myself as busy as possible, so I started writing myself extensive to-do lists for every single day. Whilst this helped structure my days initially, once these lists were done I would find myself lost in boredom and nothingness all over again! […] That’s when I ditched the to-do lists, put pen to paper and began expressing my frustration toward the relentless repetitivity of our real-life ‘Groundhog Day.’”
Right off the bat, Huntley’s high vocals and pop soundtrack reminded me of a Broadway number. I could imagine her walking across the stage, outpouring her frustrations and desires to the audience. Even though it’s not a musical number, it’s incredible the imagery of a visual performance her song conveyed. I bet it will just be incredible when she is able to perform it live!
In line with the title of her song “Groundhog Day,” the track starts off synths that seem to repeat themselves. Huntley isn’t just singing about feeling like life is going “round and around” but includes aspects of repetition and circling in her lyrics and soundtrack. The chorus is composed of instruments and the lyrics “round and round” and “running around” repeating over and over again. The lyrics come out of the repeating instruments, almost like they had been repeating so much they were indistinguishable initially.
Later on in the track, Huntley sings “round and around going” for a long period of time. The lyrics are mostly the same throughout the section, though Huntley occasionally switches it up, singing “I’m going round and round and round and round[...].” I felt I was stuck in a loop with no way out, the words and sounds revolving around my head.
Near the end, Huntley still sings her main lyrics but is overlapped by her lyrics “round and round.” Occasionally, the main lyrics are overwhelmed, and, at times, couldn’t pay attention to them, getting caught up in the loud repetition of “round and round.” It felt like Huntley was conveying that the routine was overshadowing all aspects. Nothing else could be enjoyed because it just felt too repetitive.
One of the last lyrics that caught my ear was: “I’m not feeling a waste of space / I'm just feeling so […] space is wasted.” I loved the playing of words: using the same ones in a different order to change the meaning. Trying to decipher her lyrics left me dazed because of how quickly she sang them and how similar they were.
Huntley’s amazing lyrics and soundtrack of “Groundhog Day” encapsulated her message which was elevated by her outstanding vocals. Even more so, I loved how relatable her song was: we’ve all experienced and felt that at some point, but it was still personal and about her. A lot of the time, I’ve wanted to avoid all reminders or not consume any media about Covid and lockdown. However, Huntley’s song (arrangement, vocals, everything!) make me want to listen to it over and over again! Her “Groundhog Day” has become its own wormhole, groundhog day to listeners.
Fans of Emily Burns, Violet Skies, and Charlotte Jane should definitely give Huntley a listen.
Surrey-born, Bristol-based singer songwriter Chrissie Huntley turned to music in 2017 following developing debilitating anxiety, eventually deciding to pursue it full-time. Huntley found that music provided her with “healing, catharsis and expression.” Huntley also uses her music and platform to bring awareness to mental health, creating the campaign #LetsTalkAboutIt. She’s raised over £500 for ‘Mind-Mental Health Charity’ and donates £1 of all merchandise sales. Huntley has performed at the UK House of Commons in 2019 for National Grief Awareness Week and was handpicked to perform at the Glastonbury Festival. She headlined O2 Academy Bristol in 2018 and performed twice at BBC 1’s Regional News Show. For Huntley, her goal through her music is “to make the world just a little peachier.”
Written by Anne Friedman