Speaking with BLUNT, Yours Truly vocalist Mikaila Delgado looks back on their 2020 album Self Care as “being a hug”. Their follow up single, ‘Walk Over My Grave’, is a strong departure… In that it’s more akin to a punch to the throat.
It’s volatile, bone-shaking and above all else, incredibly threatening to all those who consider themselves peers of the Sydney pop-punkers. But this isn’t a side quest. It’s a departure into the furthest, as-yet-uncharted corners of the Yours Truly sonic universe. And they made a conscious decision to floor it there.
“We just decided that we wanted to bring back a little bit of the theatrics to our music,” Delgado says. “We wanted it to feel like it was its own new era. We want it to look different and sound like it’s a new version of our band, and take people down a different path.”
Off the rip, ‘Walk Over My Grave’ steals the air from the room. By virtue of the cyclonic drama laid down by the instrumental, Delgado is free to tell an uninterrupted story of frustration over one of life’s few certainties: loss. “I tried really hard for it not to be angry,” she admits. “It wasn’t really planned to be angry.”
Despite these intentions, Delgado owns the impact – “It’s an angry song.
“I’m a very honest writer,” she continues. “I was angry and I was upset over something that I had gone through; I had stopped being close with someone in my life. And then I think that I started writing these lyrics and I was like, ‘Oh, I sound mad. I don’t want to be mad.’
“But for me, this is my outlet. This is the way I get through things, and if I don’t write about it, it’s going to build up in me.”
Though the track’s inception was a personal journey for Delgado, it was one that bandmates Lachlan Cronin (guitar), Teddie Winder-Haron (guitar), and Brad Cronan (drums) were more than happy to embark on. The drums are equally as aggressive as the vocals, and the guitars and bass ring agitated and manic.
“I was listening to the demo earlier today,” Cronin interjects, “And it didn’t have the same dark ending that it does in the final version. I think the lyrics prompted that darkness. We just wanted to try it, and it just worked out.”
The end result is three minutes and change of unfiltered catharsis for the entire band. “I think it’ll be even more so when we get to play this live,” Cronin adds – a sentiment Winder-Haron feels too. “With all the spare time we have, we’ve been working on making sure that when we go back to live shows, it’s going to be stepped up well more than just a bar. We want to really push the limits. It’s going to be the biggest emotional release, and everyone’s going to love it. It’s going to be sick.”
“The fact that there’s so many new artists popping up excites me, because there’s going to be a lot more to draw inspiration from…”
Fans tend to have a sixth sense for authenticity in art, and as such, ‘Walk Over My Grave’ was met with thunderous approval from Yours Truly’s international legion of followers. The gamble of change paid off – both sonically and visually – and the group feel emboldened in their decision-making faculties. So much so that they’ve already circled the wagons to plot their next course.
When asked where this new direction will take them next, Cronin keeps it mysterious: “It’s a surprise,” he quips. Delgado was, thankfully, slightly more forthcoming. “All I’m going to put out there is that [the songs we’re working on] are songs that we like, and they’re all a little bit different.”
So, while ‘Walk Over My Grave’ may signal a new era for Yours Truly, it doesn’t fully define it.
“We’re big music listeners as well,” adds Cronin. “We always think, ‘What would we want to hear, as people who listen to music? What would we want to see? What would we want artists to do?’ And then, ‘Well, why don’t we do that for other people?'”
Winder-Haron says they deployed this philosophy when they were making the ‘Walking Over My Grave’ film clip.
“We definitely put a lot more thought into what we were wearing,” he says. “The whole overall aesthetic lines up with the song really well, and there are lots of those kinds of little bits and pieces. I feel like that’s when people get more excited about stuff.”
This ethos could be surmised as Yours Truly embracing the unknown, rather than trying to outsmart it with what’s worked before. And as the so-called traditional systems of the music industry continue to disintegrate before our eyes – as we continue to grapple with lockdowns, venue closures and the loss of opportunities in the wider arts sector – it’s a mindset that will serve Yours Truly well.
Indeed, when looking into what’s to come for their industry – a view from which many other creatives only scope doom and gloom – Yours Truly extrapolate hope.
As Winder-Haron explains, “The fact that there’s so many new artists popping up excites me, because there’s going to be a lot more to draw inspiration from, and a lot more people to be supporting others. And as a music listener, there’s going to be a lot more stuff to listen to. Because I’m always like, ‘I need more!’ And now it seems to be that every single day, everywhere I look, there’s a new artist that I find, and I can’t wait to see what they turn into.”
While at the end of the day they are only humans, Delgado says the band have succumbed to the general malaise with “little moments”. But she maintains an optimistic outlook nonetheless.
“We’re very lucky that we live where we do, and that we’ve been able to chill out during this pandemic,” she says. “We’ve been able to do things, and even just those super quick trips that we’ve done, they’ve been so memorable and so good, and they have definitely reminded me that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. I know it’s the same for the guys…
“I think if anything, [this pandemic] has given us some more fire to go super hard when the rest of the world opens up.”