Undertones - EP

Undertones - EP

Mysie’s second EP Undertones is all about scrutinizing her choices. “Every lyric, every line, has been questioned,” the London singer-songwriter, real name Lizbet Sempa, tells Apple Music. “There are so many things I didn’t ask myself before this, in regards to how I want people to feel when they’re listening to my music. I wanted this EP to be focused. I wanted it to be played before pre-drinks, and then after people come back from the club.” Just as specific was what she wanted this EP to be about. These tracks document the ups and downs of relationships, from fresh beginnings (the giddy “Seven Nights”) to bitter endings (“Keep Up With Your Heart,” on which Mysie mourns a cheating ex) and lust for out-of-reach admirers (“In My Mind”). Here, inspired by Sampha’s 2017 record Process, the singer draws her unique blend of soulful chords and indie and pop melodies inwards, lacing them with intimacy. “I find myself similar to Sampha, in his chord choices and use of harmony—I really relate to it,” says Mysie. “I just wanted to come home, to people who are similar to me.”
This EP arrives less than a year after the singer won the 2020 Rising Star Award With Apple Music at The Ivors, an award which gifted her a mentor in the form of celebrated British songwriter and producer Fraser T. Smith. Though at first there was no expectation that they would make music together, Undertones is a fruit of their partnership, worked on between Smith’s UK home and lockdown-mandated video sessions after the producer signed Mysie to his own label 70Hz. “We were just so open and honest with each other,” says Mysie of the experience. “He’s educated me on a lot of things I didn’t know.” Read on as a singer on the rise talks us through the stirring Undertones, one song at a time.
“Don’t Take It Personal” “It’s straight to the point and the message is very clear. It's about me wanting to be alone and wanting to have time to myself, and trying to tell my partner not to take it personally. Nobody knows this—I don’t even think Fraser knows this—but before I recorded this song, I cried for half an hour. It’s why I’m a bit raspy. It was the height of lockdown and I was just in my feels. I felt the need to release before doing that vocal, and I’m so glad I did it. I won't ever forget that.”
“Seven Nights” “This song is about the excitement of new love and fast love. The chords are so colorful, which mirrors the story behind this track, which is about me going on a date with someone, then booking a plane ticket to go to the south of Italy, somewhere I've never been before, to meet his family and his friends. I hardly knew him. It was the most unreal experience ever. I don't know whether I'd do it again. It was intense. Did it work out? To an extent!”
“Keep Up With Your Heart” “This song is about someone cheating on me. I wrote it four years ago, and at the time, it was very fresh. It was weird returning to it years later, as I did have to recall a very painful time. I wanted this to be intimate and vulnerable. This song's really about laying it all on the table to my ex-partner and letting him know, ‘I can't keep up with your heart; nobody else will be able to keep up with your heart because you're always looking for external things in a relationship.’ This song is so special to me.”
“Over Time” “The chords in this track are what I’d described as loafy: as in wholesome, like bread. It’s about realigning with someone who it didn’t work with before. It’s about coming back together and saying, ‘You’re a bit over time, but I'm glad you're here, I'm relieved.’ I really wanted this to be a joyful song, and I feel we did that.”
“In My Mind” “An inspiration for this track was ‘Slave 4 U’ by Britney Spears. It’s about the groove for me. When I went into the studio, I was feeling kind of excited. In the weeks leading up to it, lots of beautiful men had messaged me on Instagram. I’m not in a position to be talking to any of them, but I was like, ‘This is really interesting. I would never go there with you, but this is taking me over.’ It’s about dreaming about a new relationship that's unattainable. It’s sexy and I love this song so much.”


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