‘I Love Me Too’
BYFYN is Ellie Isherwood, and here she releases a delicious piece of retro synth pop. ‘I Love Me Too’ and its accompanying visuals could be Madonna in 1984 if Madonna could ever have been non-materialistic. Having seen the visuals, I cannot now separate it from the track, but that might be Isherwood’s plan here. This is a perfectly-constructed pure pop confection.
As BYFYN, Isherwood cut her teeth in the Rising Sun Arts Collective, a Goldsmiths-adjacent collection of young musiciansm, artists, film-makers, and designers. There, they lived together in a disused pub and BYFYN used the time to hone in on her usual darker, though still dreamy, sound. The Collective actually sounds pretty amazing, as she developed her sound through house parties and gigs, video shoots, and recording sessions. And then she began to release a series of singles that caught the attention of everyone from Noisey to BBC Music Six, DIY Magazine, and even BBC Radio 1.
Isherwood is making a statement with this song, beyond the glossy synth-pop music. Vocally, she take on the over-stated role of self-love and self-empowerment in dealing with mental health and issues arising therefrom. I couldn’t agree more, as this can have the deleterious effect of isolating someone dealing with mental health issues, making them feel even more a failure for not sorting themselves out. Rather, Isherwood insists that this is something that is constant, beneath this superficiality, we need to work constantly at our mental health. She says:
This song is my ideal end to an EP about struggling with mental health- it’s like “everything is fine now and I love myself because life’s too short not to!”. But really it is just that, it’s the ideal, the fantasy situation. From experience, mental health is more of a journey, with ups and downs and unfortunately it can’t always be wrapped up, all sorted and tied in a nice little bow like it is in the movies. With the video I wanted it to look like it could be. I wanted to create the perfect fantasy/cheesy pastiche of a late 90’s, early 00’s teen film, complete with an outfit montage. A highly stylised fantasy bubble where everything works out perfectly in the end… but there’s a twist.
And it is closing track of her forthcoming ep, but what strikes me the most is the wisdom she speaks here. BYFYN’s ep, I’m Blue With You, is out 9 December.