"Mercury" by Temples of Youth Is an Angsty Track about Being Kind to Yourself
Temples of Youth call themselves "a DIY dream pop band". In truth, their music borrows from other genres emerged in the 80s like synthpop and new wave. Their latest single "Mercury" takes no prisoners, starting with a disqueting guitar riff and lyrics about an unsafe place that demands carrying a knife. However, the real message behind the song is one of being kind to yourself. We asked TOY's Joanne Carson to dismantle the lyrics for us.

Joanne Carson
The lyrics for Mercury came soon after I'd figured out the main chord structure. It felt quite angsty and I thought: "What am I annoyed about? What am I struggling with?"

I think we can all relate to trying to attain perfection, and feeling pressured by our own expectations. I often feel like I'm always on the edge of something, and I sometimes can't differentiate between whether that's something good or something bad. After living with panic disorder for over a decade I can become fixated on my own well-being, perhaps 'checking in' too much. There's got to be a balance. That's where the first line came in:

All my life with a knife, in this place never safe.

It has taken me a long time to realise that the road to happiness doesn't involve ridding myself of anxiety. It's impossible. I'm a human being, anxiety is programmed into me as a defence mechanism, it's always going to be there and without it I'd be in more danger than I often feel. I'm not a religious person, the repetition of the word 'God' in this track is to represent something more than human, an unrealistic expectation and an unachievable goal. I have found a lot of anxiety can come from a false belief that we have to be more than what we are, and there's a real lack of self-acceptance and love in that.

Close to heaven now, drowning in white noise.
Fallen for regret, you got it, you got it.

These lines are about accepting things and letting them go, no matter how painful that process might be. The more we reject our circumstances and push our emotions away, the worse it can feel. Mercury is an exploration of emotion, an angsty driving track that says none of us are perfect and that's ok, so be kind to yourself.

The track was recorded remotely in different sections – Mike Vaughan on drums and Paul Gumma on lead guitar and vocals. I recorded my vocal and a few guitar bits and sent these over to Paul who produced the track and gave it its shine, as he does with every track. We haven't been able to see each other for a long time which is a shame, but we are fortunate to all have access to recording equipment to still make our music.

Also revisit the duo's seemingly serene "Silver Cross".
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