Review: "you're my achilles heel" - laye
The thought of an all-consuming love sounds tempting, right? But the 1998 film Practical Magic shows watchers how a romance of this nature can become unhealthy – even deadly. We see Nicole Kidman’s character, Gillian, become enamored with this type of love after witnessing the pair of bewitching aunts cast a love spell for a woman obsessively in love with a married man. Years later, Gillian finally lands herself in an intense romance with Jimmy Angelov. It doesn’t take long for Jimmy to reveal his beguiling ways. This eventually leads Gillian to permanently untangle herself from this dangerous relationship with the help of her sister, Sally. While there’s no fatalities in laye’s recent single, “you’re my achilles heel”, listeners can gain valuable insight on the apexes of an all-consuming love.
Whereas Practical Magic emphasizes the aftermath of an all-consuming romance, “you’re my achilles heel” focuses on the allure and dependency experienced before a relationship of this caliber takes a soured turn. The alt-pop single opens with soft guitar strings, placing listeners under a lullaby-like trance to demonstrate the dreamy lens we tend to place on this type of romance. Laye's opening line is “you are my kryptonite”, which is normally an endearing sentiment - not in this connection, though. Here it’s an admission of awareness; we’re aware this love leaves us too weak to function on our own. Especially when the partner knows how to “get [us] right where it hurts”. But it’s overlooked because of how exhilarating this connection feels – it’s pure dopamine much like laye’s exquisite vocals. Too much concentrated dopamine can make us impulsive. Listeners hear this impulsion in the raging chorus. In the worst case, however, an overload of dopamine can lead to dependency. And that’s precisely the point our artist drives home in the second verse when comparing this romance to differing vices and even “life support”. There becomes a severe dependence on the relationship to make us feel good. This dependence then damages our own ability to make ourselves feel good before stripping us of our autonomy as it’s highlighted in the third verse. Laye utilizes the Greek mythological figures of Medusa and Aphrodite to symbolize the lack of autonomy possessed when we find ourselves engrossed in a love this intense. We essentially lose ourselves, metamorphosing into someone we barely recognize. Thankfully, we can always rely on laye to craft some musical magic to keep us enlightened.
The love child of Fairuza Balk and Elvira, laye, is a Montreal native with a flare for alt-pop hits. The singer and songwriter initially came onto the music scene in 2018 with singles like “goldfinger” and “milk n honey”. Since her debut, laye’s growing aptitude to portray the darkly intimate aspects of life and interpersonal relationships has transformed her into the dame of gothic glam. The artist wrote “you’re my achilles heel” alongside co-writers Gray Hawken and Rachel West. The single is featured on laye’s upcoming EP, losers, which is set to release later this month on the 22nd. If you’ve enjoyed laye’s intoxicating soliloquy as much as I have, show the songstress some virtual love in the form of streams, likes, and follows.
Written by Giavanna Gradaille