A lot of pop star’s on the rise write vulnerably – the more vulnerable, the better is often the case when it comes to connecting with listeners – but not so many are using their music as a coping mechanism for PTSD like Sarah Yagki.
The Sydney singer-songwriter released her sophomore EP, I Love You, I Lied, last Friday, containing five supremely honest and raw songs about love and loss, from the end of an intimate relationship to even losing yourself.
Underneath the gleaming melodies and emotive storytelling, though, is simply a young star trying to cope with her own triggering condition.
“I generally have trouble remembering and reflecting on moments due to my PTSD, and songwriting helps me process and articulate moments that I can’t compartmentalise in life,” Yagki explains.
Her intimate indie pop, then, is a vessel for her personal health and growth just as much as for anyone else; it’s little wonder that her fanbase is developing by the month due to Yagi’s lyrical vulnerability.
“My EP’s central message is the process of loss, with the title-track exploring the sense of chaos that occurs after you lose people,” she adds.
Produced by the artist herself alongside James Guildo, I Love You, I Lied sees Yagki evolve her sound from her debut EP, last year’s A Love, That’s Dying, drawing on influences including Halsey and Avril Lavigne.
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Before she launches her new EP this Saturday, March 11th at OAF Gallery Bar in Sydney (find tickets here), Tone Deaf caught up with Yagki to find out more about each track on her record.
Sarah Yagki’s I Love You, I Lied is out now.
I Love You, I Lied track by track:
“You’re the right person but it’s the wrong time”
The opening line summarises the entire meaning behind the song. It’s about the idea that you want someone but it never is really going to work out because of everything around both of you pulling each other apart. The production behind it I wanted to be light, feel good but with that underlying melancholic meaning about finally releasing it’s never really going to work, but you are still trying.
I wrote this during lockdown, and it was a song that I was unsure whether or not was going to be a single, but having the energy it does now I am happy with how its been taken from writing it at the piano by myself during lockdown to now being on streaming services and on my EP.
‘Sick of You’
“I’m sick, of not being sick of you”
This track is about when you are stuck in a situationship where you care for someone, but you know you will always care about them more than they will ever care about you. It’s about being friends, or just close with someone and then something shifting your entire dynamic. It’s that questioning of ‘where do we go from here, and will I still have you in my life after all of this.’
It’s a track that still carries that feel good energy but the lyrics are very straight to the point and the entire verses lay out the entire story behind what inspired me to write the song. I was in a very similar situation where I had to reassess and question my friendship with someone due to their actions, and the chorus was the first thing I created just sitting at home writing at my piano.
“Don’t harm the rest of my heart”
‘Truly’ is the most personal song on the EP and my personal favourite. It’s a relationship you can’t get out of, that you’re stuck in and it slowly becomes more and more violent to your mind. The chorus is a desperate plea asking the other person to please not hurt them anymore.
The first verse discusses the idea that you are still believing there is lust and love in the relationship, so the first time the chorus happens it feels like you are happy and don’t want anything to ruin it.
The second verse introduces the story with ideas of emotional and physical abuse, which then gives another layer to the chorus the second time around. The bridge is when I was believing that maybe the reason behind all the other person’s actions was that they truly believed this was all love was to them.
The final chorus is when everything comes crashing down, and you are trying so hard to put up a guard between the other person and your heart.
“You make me feel safe, but that is not enough”
I wrote this about an ex-partner who I lost feelings for and just purely staying together because it was ‘nice’ wasn’t enough. It was the first relationship I had after the AVO and it was great for me to be in a relationship that felt safe, happy and healthy. But the longer I was in it, I realised that I needed something that had a spark and it was unfair for me to stay with someone just for the idea of it being just ‘nice’.
It’s that sense of feeling comfortable, and loving that person, but feeling like you want to feel more from a partner. It was rediscovering what the bare minimum was, felt like, and understanding that I needed more in a relationship and that it just wasn’t for me.
‘I Love You, I Lied’
“I’m getting use to you, it’s a habit, nothing romantic”
The final release and the focus track of the entire EP – it is a heartbreak track and for me it is again an extremely visual song. It’s when you see an entire relationship flash before you like a movie and at the end, snap back into reality to figure out what you’re actually doing while still stuck in it.
The track is when I was feeling like I was just in a relationship because I was too scared to get out, and the idea of not loving them anymore, or not having someone to love, was the reason to stay. The verse 2 in this track is me reflecting on the time I loss being with them, and the idea that I lost time and replaced them with the other persons “Coward eyes” because they weren’t leaving either.
The bridge for me is this flame that starts when I finally start to get the strength to walk away, and how at the end of it I truly believed they would “leave me for dead, if you weren’t consumed, with loneliness.”