Just a short year and a half after their EP Afterglow showed a band with a knack for catchy, earworm melodies and serious promise Aussie pop punk upstarts Yours Truly are set to release their debut record, Self Care. Despite the short time between releases the band have come a startlingly long way in delivering on the promise of their EP.
Starting strong with ‘Siamese Souls’, Yours Truly certainly waste no time. A very brief acoustic lick moves into charging riffs and drumming before Mikaila Delgado steals the show with a powerful, emotional performance. Self Care melds both modern pop-punk sensibilities with moments straight out of pop-punk’s heady early days. Drummer Bradley Cronan drives the band forward expertly, anchoring the shimmering guitar lines of Teddie Winter-Haron and Lachlan Cronin that weave around each other throughout.
The band show an ability not just for more typical pop-punk fare such as the emotionally charged ‘Composure’ but also for when they slow things down. A shining example is the heart-rending ‘Half of Me’, which features a more vulnerable side of Mikaila’s voice, all the while exuding a quiet confidence in her abilities. The band are also utterly unafraid to try something a little different than the usual; ‘Undersize’ is a stripped back, acoustic-led track with softer brushstroke drumming. It’s saccharine sweet and uplifting, guaranteed to command huge singalongs with the (hopefully) eventual return of live shows. Closer 'Heartsleeve' is one of the best tracks on the album, with the emotional heft to reduce you to tears ("do you find yourself ashamed / to come undone / do you feel anything"), all the while with glittering guitar lines. It blends all the best elements of the band's sound into one transcendent, vulnerable but ultimately uplifting song that takes Self Care out on a glorious high.
The lyrics aren’t complex but this is definitely a case of less is more. Simpler vocal lines paired with Yours Truly’s ear for hooks makes them transcend their simplicity such as on ‘Ghost’ (“I’m a ghost / to your noise”, “seems like I’m nothing more than see through / I’ll see it through”) to get them running through your head for days.
One of the best things about pop-punk is its ability to tackle weightier subjects in a lighter setting that can move the themes from miserable to ultimately hopeful; ‘Funeral Home’ is a playful ode to awkward family gatherings - like funerals - and not seeing relatives for years at a time and having to act like you know them well. Similarly, ‘Together’ deals with being so caught up in your own anxieties you can’t get your thoughts or words together in situations. The rawness of Self Care is its strength; it's a relatable album that shows the band taking a hands-on healing approach to the upheaval of the last few years, from their sudden meteoric rise to broken relationships and personal mental health struggles.
Listening to Self Care feels like going through life with your best friend by your side, a supportive companion to get you through the toughest times with empathy and levity. It’s no mean feat for a band that existed for just a few short years, to pen songs so emotionally raw but that also make you want to dance round the living room and this album, by rights, should make Yours Truly the pop-punk superstars they deserve to be.
Self Care is released September 25th via UNFD. Pre-order the record here.