Prioritise Pleasure – Self Esteem

Holy holy. This does not sound like the last single. It’s a big beat. A. Big. Beat. A great big arsed beat pummeling the listener. It starts off with a voice. Her voice, recognisable from the other tracks you’ve heard (I’ve heard) then the squawks come in. A sort of technology based instrumental DURRR! NEER! DURRR!

The song is punctuated by them. Feedback as a riff. It’s dischordant and bold, it’s also really very cool.

The chorus is choral. So choral it takes a few listens to hear what is being said. The confessional talky lady from I Do This All The Time might be leading a cult that you’ve unwittingly followed to a ceremony.

So overwhelming is Prioritise Pleasure on first listen you sort of wonder what you’ve got yourself into, in a good way. These are several big pop music tropes. I’ve seen them all used at one time or another. I’ve just not seen them deployed like this before, together. Rebecca Lucy Taylor is a bit of a genius. Melding together so many elements of pop, soul, indie and R&B into a streamlined polished presentable ‘big sound’ that is subversive as all hell but down to Earth and conversational.

It’s like hearing realistic dialogue in a huge budget movie. It sells the concept to you before you’ve had a chance to think where things might lead.

To that matter this sort of pop music (I say that like there are any other types of pop music that sound like this that I’m aware of. There aren’t, it’s just Lucy) is really the new cutting edge. This is the prog in progressive, this is the new frontier. Other records do not sound entirely like this one. It fits in nicely with Amanda Palmer, Mattiel, Sia and The Pipettes without sounding like any of them.

Genres gather tropes and go stale. Pop from the 60’s-70’s-80’s-90’s-00’s-10’s-etc never quite made a record exactly like Self Esteem. Sure the last 50 years of music made lots of new and unique recipes from the raw materials of pop. None sound quite like this though. I’m hearing big famous influences like Madonna, Beyonce, Lorde and I’m hearing punk elements like X-Ray Specs or PJ Harvey in the attitude. Mostly I’m hearing honest down to Earth, Northern humour, a knowing ‘in on the gag’ wit poking fun at even wanting to be a pop star and some fucking good tunes.

It’s pop but it’s saying stuff (more than saying something it’s saying an awful lot) It’s irreverent, clever, fun and better than anything else you’re doing right now. Put down your genre and pick up the future of pop music.

3 thoughts on “Prioritise Pleasure – Self Esteem

  1. I’d already pre-ordered her album on the strength of your initial recommendation, and heard this and also – YES. Very tempted to see her live nearby to see how it all translates, definitely different and someone actually saying something, which seems like it should be a given but you know ‘pop’ music but this is the next step up, for sure!

    Liked by 1 person

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