Overall Score: 8/10 Stand Out Tracks: 9/10 Experimentation: 8/10 Repeat Listen Value: 8/10 Pros: Fantastic stand out singles | Musical bravery pays off | Darker, more personal lyrics Cons: It's over way too quickly
From their breakthrough first single High Hopes through to one of 2020’s best albums in Self Care, Yours Truly have long been one of the best things going on in the world of pop rock. The increased attention that came off the back of Self Care brought them tours with the likes of Holding Absence and Against The Current, shows with You Me At Six and appearances at Slam Dunk Festival.
That summary brings us nicely to their new EP, is this what i look like?. Something of a counterpart to Self Care in terms of subject material and themes, is this what i look like? was born out of the frustration and isolation of the pandemic and the forced self reflection that frontwoman Mikaila Delgado and the rest of the band went through as a result.
As is so often the way nowadays, several of the songs from the EP have been dripfed out as singles over the last several months. As a result, is this what i look like? roars out of the gate with the familiar and excellent Walk Over My Grave. A song that showcases a darker side to the Yours Truly sound while retaining all of the things that made so many fall in love with them in the first place. The level stays at the very top for the next song too – where Bruises reveals that Yours Truly combining forces with Stray From The Path’s Drew York is a collaboration that on paper sounds crazy but works brilliantly. Drew displays a more melodic approach compared to his day job with Stray and it dovetails incredibly well with Mikaila’s verses and Yours Truly’s expanded sound on this EP. The short, snappy Careless Kind has some great guitar work from Teddie Winder-Haron alongside the vocal melodies of Mikaila, bringing the first half of this EP to an enjoyable close.
The title track for is this what i look like? is interestingly, something of an EDM flavoured dancey interlude, which feels a little out of place but at the same time doesn’t outstay its welcome at less than 90 seconds long. Normal service resumes with Hallucinate, the most recent big single featuring a guest turn from You Me At Six’s Josh Franceschi. While it doesn’t land quite as well as Drew York’s appearance on Bruises, Josh’s appearance is still enjoyable. Closing track and second single, Lights On, is perhaps the least traditional Yours Truly sounding song on the EP. But it is quite brilliant. There are electronic samples, a dance music style beat throughout much of the track, and a breakdown accompanying lyrics that feel the most personal of any of the songs. “Is this what I look like with the lights on?” is one of many lyrics that taps directly into the solitary, reflective period the band, and Mikaila in particular endured during COVID. It is an extremely well crafted song that brings the EP to a conclusion all too soon.
Yours Truly could have quite easily played it safe on this EP after the success of Self Care. They haven’t, and they are all the better for it. is this what i look like? firmly cements Yours Truly in the group at the top of the modern pop rock bands doing genuinely interesting things within the genre. If this is what their evolution will be like, long may it continue.
is this what i look like? is released Friday July 15th 2022 on UNFD.