Barnett’s new single is emblematic of the same internalised paranoia that characterised her last awesome album: Tell Me How You Really Feel. She expressed in an email bulletin that she was afraid the lyrics were too personal for the song to even make it to recording. And they certainly are intense: dealing with how said feelings of paranoia feed conditions such as depression (which Barnett suffers from). The song features her characteristic guitar riffs and expertly handled musical composition, and in spite of the intense subject matter, it’s just plain fun to listen to.
in spite of the intense subject matter, it’s just plain fun to listen to
The song is accompanied by a music video set inside Barnett’s brain. While the first verse has a resignatory tone (“I feel putrid, I’m getting used to it these days”), the song’s focus ultimately shifts towards a collective need to monitor the mental health of people around us: “You say ‘It’s only in your head / They’re probably thinking the same thing’”. The song is at once vulnerable and sympathetic, driven by an angry edge to Barnett’s voice, a crescendo of guitar and vocal backing from her bandmates that shout the powerful solidarity she feels between herself and other mental health sufferers. She smiles as she sings “We’re gonna tell everyone it’s okay”. It seems like it’s okay not to be okay in her eyes.