Self Esteem – Compliments Please
Vocally and lyrically charged, Self Esteem’s debut is one that takes several paths in its journey, revealing Rebecca Taylor as a remarkable vocalist and a powerful lyricist
One half of indie-pop duo Slow Club, Rebecca Taylor’s solo debut as Self Esteem is characterised by a wide musical divergence – one that explores another version of her and her music, far removed from that of the band.
Made in collaboration with The Very Best’s Johan Karlberg, short opening monologue (Feelings) sets the scene for the very existence of Self Esteem: 'When you're in a band everybody really doesn't want the same thing you want... / You have to make a decision and not worry about somebody's feelings'. Expressing the need to be a separate entity from a band and gaining the ability to make the music she wants to make, it provides the perfect launchpad for the album's first track proper, single The Best, with its 'I did the best that I could, babe' refrain; it's instantly impactful and marks Taylor's intent with Self Esteem.
The first standout of the record comes with Girl Crush, a haunting yet strangely upbeat piece that blends thudding beats with a crescendo of instrumentals, with the piano-led, lyrically-charged Favourite Problem – 'You’ll never know because you’ll never let yourself grow' – summing up the message behind the album. Later, the upbeat and encouraging In Time gives you the confidence to carry on – 'Don’t feel sorry for me / I'm doing fine... / It’s okay / You'll be fine' – and is another highlight.
Punctuated throughout with spoken word vignettes, the final surge of dialogue comes with (Truly Free) before the last three tracks juxtapose bursts of energy and tranquil quiet with the more lo-fi and acoustic bent of final track On the Edge of Another One.
Vocally and lyrically charged, Self Esteem’s debut is one that takes several paths in its journey, revealing Taylor as a remarkable vocalist and a powerful lyricist.
Listen to: Girl Crush, Favourite Problem, Peach You Had To Pick, In Time