Club NME guest DJ Self Esteem’s most galvanising songs

Self Esteem is heading to Club NME next month, joining Mae Muller in a pure pop takeover of London’s Scala. The solo star will be getting behind the decks at the latest event NME will host in collaboration with new interactive platform Ladbrokes LIVE, making sure the bangers keep coming all night long.

As she prepares her set ahead of the big night on April 12, we’re diving into Self Esteem’s own catalogue to recap the most galvanising tracks she’s given us so far.

‘I’m Fine’

When: 2021
Why: On the surface, this ‘Prioritise Pleasure’ cut might not seem like the most empowering song. Across its three minutes, Taylor details traumatic, toxic experiences and, at its end, samples women talking about the tactics they use to protect themselves against men. But nestled in the song’s middle is a lowkey chorus in which the star refuses to reduce herself in response to the world around her. “I won’t rein in my / Need to be / Completely free,” she declares defiantly.

‘Prioritise Pleasure’

When: 2021
Why: The title track of Self Esteem’s second solo album puts herself in first place, resisting the urge to people please her way through life. Bursts of choral vocals in the chorus make her commands to “prioritise pleasuring me” feel like eureka moments; lightning bolts striking down to shake up life for the better. That its percussive beat is ready-made for getting you onto the dancefloor only adds to its liberating feeling.

‘Peach You Had To Pick’ 

When: 2019
Why: ‘Peach You Had To Pick’ – from Self Esteem’s debut album ‘Compliments Please’ – takes the form of a subtle shape-shifter, gently morphing from something classic to something more experimental and back again. It opens with drones of reverberating organ underpinning Taylor’s words before things speed up and unidentifiable sound effects interject. It grows and builds until it reaches a firm climax – its creator promising assuredly: “I’ll show them how I exist.”

self esteem
Credit: Press

‘In Time’

When: 2019
Why: When it comes to writing songs that really capture the nuanced layers of our experiences in life, Taylor is a pro. On the 2019 track ‘In Time’, she offers both a message of reassurance for those going through it (“It’s OK, you’ll be fine / Just step right, left, baby, in time”) and a gentle warning to those who used to be in her orbit who’ve left her hurt. “Don’t feel sorry for me / I’m doing fine,” she tells us through auto-tune that makes her tone steely and strong. “Patiently seething, hoping that you leave.”

‘How Can I Help You’ 

When: 2021
Why: Kanye West’s ‘Black Skinhead’ served as the inspiration for the pummelling rhythms on this insistent, confrontational track. The song serves as a vessel for Self Esteem to air her frustrations about the things women face in the music industry and society as a whole while nodding to her roots playing in punk bands in her early days. It’s raw and powerful, whether Taylor is referencing persistently ageist attitudes or spitting repeatedly: “I don’t know shit.”

General admission tickets for the upcoming Club NME have now all been snapped up. If you missed out, there are limited tickets left to win via the Ladbrokes LIVE Ticketing Hub here, and sign up to the waitlist here to hear about future ticket drops.

Ladbrokes LIVE is a digital entertainment platform that rewards fans with free access to the UK’s best live music, comedy and sports events, in partnerships with The O2, AEG Presents, NME and many more.  With thousands of tickets and unique live experiences to be won, register at ladbrokeslive for free and follow them for news on the latest ticket drops.

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