Self Esteem today announces details of her forthcoming second album Prioritise Pleasure and shares its title track and accompanying self-directed video. ‘Prioritise Pleasure’ pulls apart and inspects the mantra running through the core of the album, unpacking unapologetically tending to your own needs, confronting your flaws and dealing with the ways you’ve been wronged. Prioritise Pleasure is due for release Friday 22nd October via Fiction Records, and also features acclaimed recent single ‘I Do This All The Time,’ which made the Radio 1 and 6 Music playlists and was the subject of a much talked-about performance on Later… With Jools Holland.
The video for ‘Prioritise Pleasure’ was directed by Rebecca Lucy Taylor (AKA Self Esteem) and shot at The Almeida Theatre with the help of Mr Mr Films, the second in a series following ‘I Do This All The Time’.
“The song is a wide screen mantra, remembering to put myself first and in turn making myself a better, more present person. My journey to accept myself is far from over, but over the last few years some of the age old simple shit has started to finally kick in. Love yourself, be in the moment, put your needs first – that all used to feel so abstract and impossible but with a bit of will power (and writing a tonne of songs about it), I finally not only see the benefits but am actively enjoying them.
The video is of course a homage to Madonna’s blonde ambition tour and also a testament to how hard work pays off. Me and the girls in the band did lots of zoom rehearsals and us nailing this choreo was a really triumphant moment for us, and choreographer Stuart Rogers who never doubts we’ll get there.” Self Esteem says of her new single and video.
She adds that her new album, Prioritise Pleasure, is “13 songs of cleansing myself of the guilt and fear of being a woman who is ‘too much’ and replacing that very notion with a celebration of myself, of you, of being a human and the way that isn’t always easy or perfect, and that’s ok. Sorry to my parents for the lyric ‘shave my pussy, that’s just for me’ but i think it’s maybe my finest hour!”
, Self Esteem comes one step closer to reminding listeners – and herself – that true success begins and ends with self-acceptance, telling your story in the way that only you can.Prioritise Pleasure is also a record of great joy. Working again with trusted producer Johan Karlberg [of afro-fusion trio The Very Best], it was stitched together throughout the pandemic in chunked sessions, the time between each batch encouraging Taylor to fully flesh out her ideas. With Prioritise PleasureHaving allowed itself grace,
“I guess this album, the reason it’s so full of love for myself, is that I’m finally seeing that none of those things are my fault.” She pauses, finding a moment of clarity. “What’s the one thing that none of us deserve to have happened to us, but almost all women have had? But in order to fucking live and survive and not spend every day wanting to slay every man I see in the street, I’ve had to normalise it.”
Breaking a personal cycle of trauma-suppression, Taylor says, starts with laying out these instances of her personal experience – self-doubt, heartbreak, sexual assault, the urge to compare – and realising that one stands out as something that truly can’t be justified as part and parcel of life.
“I am so angry that I can’t go on holiday alone. I’m so angry I can’t walk home without someone freaking me out, or worse. And the idea that the only defence we have is to be terrifying is so wrong, but it’s as normalised in society as the idea of feeling heartbroken by a guy that doesn’t text you back enough.”says Taylor. “It sets the precedent for the whole record; like really, is that what we have to do to feel safe?”
.”It sounds so stupid, but me and my friends…if we are approached by a group of men, we will bark like dogs…there is nothing that terrifies a man more than a woman who appears completely deranged” One such moment was a story shared by a woman in her early twenties, whose fear of walking at night can be heard on the track. ““But every now and again, there would be some particular insight that would just put goosebumps all over my body.” Taylor says. It turned into the most amazing month, sitting in a circle and having all these teenage chats,“
The funk-pop shimmy of ‘Moody’ is anthemic in its analysis of self-sabotaging habits, while opener ‘I’m Fine’ builds a stomp-and-clap wall of solidarity, staking out defiant new ground. Making use of Taylor’s penchant for voice notes, the song’s striking outro draws on snippets of conversation taken from work she did in 2019 with The National Youth Theatre, devising a short play with a group of young female-identifying creatives on the topic of consent.
handles difficult themes with nuanced perspective, comforted and counter-balanced with an array of rhythmic flourishes that speak to the eclecticism of her experience and influence. Prioritise Pleasureis a record that reminds us all of the importance of being our unapologetic selves, putting your insecurities out there in the hope that it can be the first step towards healing them. Honest disclosure has always been Self Esteem’s forte, and so each track on Compliments Please, Prioritise Pleasure The follow up to Self Esteem’s acclaimed 2019 debut album
Prioritise Pleasure tracklisting
I Do This All The Time
How Can I Help You
It’s Been A While
Self Esteem will also be embarking on an 18 date UK headline tour later this year, taking in shows across the country including London’s Heaven and a hometown show at The Leadmill in Sheffield. A space for both catharsis and euphoric celebration, a Self Esteem live show is not to be missed. Tickets are on sale now via https://www.selfesteem.love/.
UK 2021 TOUR DATES
29th July – The Box @ FarGo Village, Coventry
30th July – Camp Bestival, Dorset
8th August – Get Together, Sheffield
1st November – Fleece, Bristol
2nd November – Wylam Brewery, Newcastle
3rd November – Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff
4th November – O2 Academy, Oxford
6th November – The Bongo Club, Edinburgh
7th November – Audio, Glasgow
9th November – The Workmans Club, Dublin
10th November – Gorilla, Manchester (SOLD OUT)
11th November – Belgrave Music Hall, Leeds (SOLD OUT)
12th November – The Leadmill, Sheffield
14th November – Norwich Arts Centre, Norwich
15th November – Sub 89, Reading
16th November – The Joiners, Southampton
17th November – Heaven, London (SOLD OUT)
19th November – Elsewhere, Margate (SOLD OUT)
20th November – Patterns, Brighton (SOLD OUT)
23rd November – Phoenix, Exeter
24th November – Hare & Hounds, Birmingham
25th November – Metronome, Nottingham
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