The true meaning of ‘self care’ has been lost under swathes of adverts for face masks and streaming service subscriptions. But, long before it became synonymous with skin care and treating yo’self, self care was actually about making sure that you were healthy and happy, and putting your own needs first.
Aussie pop-punkers Yours Truly have done their best to bring ‘self care’ back to its epistemological roots with their debut album. ‘Self Care’ explores our responses to less-than-ideal scenarios, and may just make for the most literally therapeutic record ever made. Well, apart from those CDs of whale singing you can get at some charity shops.
The record seems to follow the pattern of the five stages of grief; lots of denial and anger to start with, a bit of bargaining, depression, and rounding off with some good ol’ acceptance.
‘Composure’ is certainly quite the bitter break-up song, but its honesty is refreshing. Instead of wondering what could have been, we get a big screw you to someone who clearly made the relationship immensely toxic. It’s an empowering, pure pop-punk anthem, and should definitely be considered for anyone going through a rough patch.
‘Vivid Dream’ blends in some dream pop to their classic sound, as Yours Truly ponder on what it’s like to gamble all your gains on something stupid. It’s followed by the jovial and slightly childlike ‘Undersize’, an excellent acoustic jam with a Rosie the Riveter message.
Yours Truly really bare all in the immensely stripped back ‘Half Of Me’. We’re getting into the acceptance stage here, guys, but here the most human side of grief gets centre stage: the part of us that, despite knowing someone or something is bad for you, still wants to hang on to it. This whole concept is underpinned by a minimal, forlorn track featuring only vocals and that old reliable acoustic guitar. Album closer ‘Heartsleeve’ rounds off this emotional journey with the brutal decency of complete rejection. The relationship is definitely over, and this story is done.
‘Self Care’ is quite the open, personal ride. While many artists do put a lot of themselves in their work, this record goes above and beyond what we usually see. Listening to this for 40 minutes is also a lot cheaper than therapy, and there’s a much shorter waitlist. Maybe double up on the self care too, and grab that sheet mask while you listen.