The term “self care” is being thrown around a lot lately, especially during lockdown and while it looks a little different for everyone, the overall feeling of taking time out to focus on oneself is something we can all agree can be both the world’s biggest challenge, and biggest reward all at once. It so happens that Sydney pop-punkers, Yours Truly have summed this whirlwind of self-reflection, vulnerability and self-love into a 10-track debut album, aptly titled ‘Self Care’.
There’s no tiptoeing around the sentiment, as ‘Siamese Souls’ reaches deep into the chest with a tight grip around singer Mikaila Delgado’s breaking heart. Forceful and passionate vocals let the pain pour out, “is this separation how it ends?” questioning the ending of a relationship, as ‘Composure’ navigates being the bigger person, reclaiming your worth and coming to terms with the end of the relationship.
“Sometimes I feel so out of place / and if I’m worth the pressure”, ‘Together’’s punchy beat and soaring chorus is highly addictive and catchy as it’s bouncy melody provides a triumphant anthem about acknowledging your doubts and anxieties but pushing through and disallowing them to take over and suffocate you.
What Yours Truly really nail is the pop-punk musicality, yet with a more mature production and lyrical content than their 90’s predecessors. Pop-punk can often be lumped as cheesy and generic, -especially for female vocalists, but don’t worry there’s no Paramore comparison to be had here- yet Mikaila’s dynamic vocal range, thick textured sounds and thematic content pulls them out of a stereotyped genre and into a world of their own.
As the fast-paced ‘Ghost’ soars into an anthemic chorus, the smashing rock track pummels through to the deeply personal and whirlwind energy of ‘Funeral Home’. “Hey I’ll see you at another wake” is quite a confronting lyric but the matter-of-fact nature of the track illustrates the weird energy when you only meet with old family members and friends when there’s a death of a loved one, the vibrant melody and smile-through-your-teeth attitude makes it hard not to dance along despite the dark connotations.
It wouldn’t be an album about vulnerability, self-reflection and emotional challenges without a few acoustic tracks, and both ‘Undersize’ and ‘Half Of Me’ come as some much needed cathartic downtime. A heavy tear-jerker, the acoustic ‘Half Of Me’ is so gut-wrenching you can feel the raw emotion and pain among the light guitar plucks and airy vocal ‘aah’s, it’s a heavenly atmosphere. Just as heartbreaking, album-ender ‘Heartsleeve’ is the perfect pop-punk ballad to ride the wave back to shore, as its gritty pop-punk stylings crash over into a slow-dance paced finale that embodies the musical spirit of the catharticism felt after a long-hard cry.
Yours Truly have bottled up every whirlwind emotion of their early-20s, from relationship breakdowns, internal pressures, self-doubt and grief, worn it on their sleeves for all to see and made it into a positive piece of reflection, empowerment and growth.