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July 2020
Feature

Track by Track: Thyla - What’s On Your Mind

The band talk us through their new record.
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Published: 12:00 am, February 01, 2019
Track by Track: Thyla - What’s On Your Mind

While there’s no shortage of brilliant, exciting new bands, there are few that can pull themselves above the fray and truly take flight. 

Thyla can, though. Their debut EP, 'What’s On Your Mind' has the glint in its eye that Wolf Alice first flashed before their debut album. There’s no higher compliment than that. 

Millie and Dan from the band talk us through the release, track by track.

Only Ever

This was one of those songs that wrote itself. We’d all been out in Brighton together and the morning after decided to do a writing session, it just came out of nowhere. Lyrically its a stream of consciousness, something I (Millie) had to retrospectively analyse to work out what I was on about. It’s my own lament about losing myself to the person I project online in the pursuit of becoming successful. It’s an apology for what I can only describe as bragging, something that’s become obligatory for the aspiring musician to do, post this, share this, tell the world how well you're doing when in actual fact it doesn't always feel that way. The lyric “I’m hoping I could be the feeling” tries to embody that vulnerability.

The verses are like my devil alter-ego, the part of me that's addicted to the instant gratification that you get from sharing your successes. “I could break you; I could make you into a laughing type, I was always good at guessing your mind.” The chorus’ are like an expression of regret for that behaviour.

Blue

‘Blue' started as a drum beat that quickly evolved into a jam. We usually have someone’s phone on record, so all of this was luckily captured. Months later we were in a writing session and rediscovered the mp3 on Mitch’s phone. It was hilariously saved as, 'Find Me In The Club!' and that’s how it started (minus the vocals). The lyrics came from a similar place to the themes and ideas found in many of our other songs. “Blue” as in, I got the Blues, hones in on the rapid and unstoppable rate of change in the way we interact with people. “Blue” as in, the colour of the Twitter and Facebook interface, makes for an ironic double entendre. The thing making us sad is the colour of sad; “I’m blue” is both the cause and the symptom!

Bitter

We love this song, it's really different from our other releases, and we love the way the recording turned out. It’s one of Dan’s songs, and it just felt right for him to sing it when we were in the studio. The songs broad meaning is a realisation and acceptance of having grown bitter. It’s an evaluation of how a person’s attitude can change negatively and without realising it, especially while getting swept up in social media and that having a damaging effect, to the point of it altering your views, expectations and general feelings towards our strange world.

The first verse is about being close-minded, and worrying about what others think of you while not believing what you see in yourself, as you finally realise your own flaws. "I'm eating sand from your hourglass" is about losing time, it’s a very jealous lyric. It’s about comparing yourself to others who seem to use their time more efficiently.

I’ve (Dan) always been a very time-conscious person, I hate wasting time, and there’s not a worse feeling noticing you’ve let it slip away. "It’s hard to swallow" has a double meaning; it has a literal meaning, as sand is inedible, and a metaphorical meaning, i.e. it’s hard to swallow the truth.

Candy

‘Candy’, originally called 'Teeth Dreams', was written over four years ago while we were at university. When we rediscovered the song, we realised it had a lyrical relevance to the ideas on the rest of the EP. Dan had been having a lot of gummy dreams where his teeth would fall out.

They’d be extremely wobbly inside my mouth and covered in blood, or they’d shatter into pieces. I’d (Dan) wake up and have to check in the mirror that they were still there. It’s not a clever metaphor or anything; it’s pretty literal."

Turns out teeth dreams are pretty common and can be linked to a whole bunch of social anxieties.

Better Me

'Better Me' is about ‘big brother’. I wrote it shortly after finishing George Orwell’s ‘1984’. The book made me think about all the things I read or hear and just assume to be true, it made me become annoyed at how willfully ignorant I was for the sake of an easy ride. It’s easy to agree, but it’s not always right to do so. The sentiment of the song urges people to do better than that. “Hey hey be a better me, be awake again, afraid of them.”

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