The first track on Yours Truly, Cellophane Nose sounds a bit like a fanfare at a rally where only good-looking people are allowed to attend. I’m sure that Mika would be gyrating and squawking spectacularly among the throng, which, to be honest, isn’t something I’d like to spend my Sunday afternoon being part of.
Humble Digs is the sound of Confederate State banjos coming to the North East of England (where Beth hails from). With such incongruity its effect is inevitably lacklustre in parts. Dodecahedron has been released as a lead single from this album. It’s a curious thing: the verses clomp along with no pace or direction, but the chorus, or something that resembles a chorus, does. Have we a vapid song? Well, not really – there are drum rolls that sound off like shots being fired from a large canon at someone you don’t really like.
Atlas boasts a choral refrain, which is bracing in its surrealism. However, parts of the stomping contained within are like a Temazepam user being woken up by Jedward. Night Swimmer is the pearl sitting slap bang in the middle. It is brash, stern and more combative than the other tracks because it’s more of an honest proposition. The Barely Skinny Bone Tree has a more profound narrative and the lyrics, including: “You bore me a baby boy with eyes of mercury.”
As Beth Jeans Houghton has confessed, she wanted this debut to be created at her own pace. This is a surprising confession for an artist to declare for a first throw of the LP dice. You start to question her effort: does she want to be around fame for a long time? It is akin to confessing that you’re going to be a living legend before any such event could happen. Based on some of the efforts springing from YTCN you have to admire her confidence.