- Tiana Speter
BEST OF 2020 #7: Yours Truly
When I first got wind of some new Yours Truly material in my inbox earlier this year, it was not just an exciting change of pace material-wise to what usually pours through my overworked inbox; it also introduced me to some of the incredible people at UNFD and the close-knit community in that orbit and beyond (hello UNFD Social Group on FB, you awesome crazies). As the year progressed, I was genuinely stoked to be able to review the Sydney quartet's debut full-length Self Care in September; but the true cherry on top was getting a Zoom date/interview with frontwoman Mikaila Delgado back in August. A warm, funny and extremely genuine human, Mikaila is the type of person you want to instantly be best friends with, while also exuding that elusive star quality that has helped propel the young band to frequently greater heights. This run of articles was an absolute joy to be part of, and I hope you enjoy the very 2020-ness of a Zoom video interview, as well as the album review re-run in full below!
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: August 7 2020
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: September 13 2020
Bending emotive blows with powerful strokes of pop and grit, the long-awaited debut album Self Care from Sydney pop punk wunderkinds Yours Truly is a lesson in sonic finesse and emotive catharsis, while unquestionably cementing this young band's elite status in the music world.
For a band just a few short years out of high school, the sharp road to success for Sydney bop rockers Yours Truly reads like a rock and roll fairytale: four kids start a band, graduate high school, tour worldwide and whip up 9 million+ streams in just under four years. But it would be a disservice to the tireless efforts Yours Truly have endured to chalk their journey up to a case of right time, right place; rather, this is a tale of sheer determination and a steadfast belief in their craft, and it seems fitting that their hotly anticipated debut album Self Care has emerged when the ruminations on the typical challenges of life in your early 20s translate into universal anthems of vulnerability, uncertainty and strength at a time when life has been at its most erratic for us all.
For a band who can claim performances at Download UK, Good Things Festival, as well as tours with Sum 41, Tonight Alive and many, many more, it may perhaps come as little surprise that their debut full-length is a polished package full of prickly pop and rousing narratives. Instead, the most welcome surprise throughout the 10 tracks on Self Care is the authentic and gradual expansion beyond the confines of the band's continued pop punk aesthetic, while still offering lashings of melodic syrup and rowdy riffs to keep you on your toes.
After a brief and broody acoustic intro, Self Care rips out with Siamese Souls, a track utterly dripping in punchy percussion and noisy riffage while frontwoman Mikaila Delgado steadily soars and strikes with glossy vocal vigour. It's a textbook pop punk intro to kickstart proceedings, leading seamlessly into one of the album's lead singles Composure.
Bustling with all of the feels and some criminally catchy hooks, Composure straddles vulnerability with huge anthemic might, with some particularly sparkling drumwork courtesy of Brad Cronan, as well as show-stopping moments that'll drag you straight back to those potent days of high school heartbreaks. Together busts a charming move next, with creamy arrangements offering surges of hope amid its heavier themes of anxiety and alienation, before the cheery Vivid Dream stakes its claim as the ultimate track to crank up on a future summer road trip.
Continuing on the glistening pathway laid by Vivid Dream is the deliriously affable Undersize, unfurling on a cloud of acoustic allure and sleek vocals while also showcasing the significant diversity and songwriting chops in the Yours Truly wheelhouse. And while the grit returns on the jaunty Ghost, there's a noticeable stretch at the seams of the traditional pop punk territory, and this stretch only intensifies on the most recently released single Funeral Home.
Offering a culmination of the rockier hints on the previous few tracks, Glass Houses strips back the pop and bop and dishes up a weighty serving of palpitating beats, pithy guitars and some significant vocal ferocity from Delgado. But from the the heaviest track on the album to pure curtailed acoustic beauty, Half Of Me emerges placing Delgado front and centre, with a beseeching and powerful vocal outing amid a calm, unplugged backdrop. And just before you can catch your breath after the potential tearjerker that's just been and gone, hard-hitting emotives and effortless hooks peak in a bittersweet yet beautiful blaze on the aptly titled closing track Heartsleeve.
There is undeniably a lot to like about a band like Yours Truly, from their riotously catchy tunes to their ability to garner genuine respect and connection from fans and the industry alike. And while the quartet are by no means still treading water as "newcomers", this debut LP ultimately offers a staggering glimpse into the Yours Truly crystal ball as they further their inevitable destiny towards total musical world domination. Self Care is a towering display of buoyant skill and sophisticated spunk that'll pierce even the coldest of hearts and will ultimately leave you wanting more.
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BY TIANA SPETER