May Payne’s EP, ‘Sane,’ is a captivating exploration of some of the darker sides the human experience. More specifically the experiences of a young woman. Delving deep into the intricacies of emotion, connection, self-discovery and healing. Featuring a compelling lineup of tracks including ‘Sane,’ ‘Take It Too,’ ‘I Hate It When You Touch Me,’ and ‘Between The Lines,’ this musical experience offers listeners a glimpse into the heart of May’s pain. With some haunting lyrics combined with beautiful melodies, ‘Sane’ promises an intimate listening experience that resonates with themes of love, vulnerability, and the complexities of relationships.
'Sane' is May Payne's newest song and the title track of the EP. Right from the off, the song conveys a message of realization that true contentment can't be found within someone else, or more specifically the person May is describing. The line "I've come to know, I won't find a home, inside of your bones" signifies the singer's acknowledgment that relying on this person for their sense of belonging is futile. It speaks to the importance of self-acceptance and inner strength.
The following line, "I've always been shown, I'm better alone. You're so hard to hold," underscores the idea that the singer has learned from past experiences that they thrive when they embrace their independence, although she may not have completely broken away from this behavior yet. The focal line in 'Sane', "Just a second stare, a moment that you're there is enough to keep me sane," beautifully encapsulates the notion that even the briefest moments of connection or love can have a major impact on someone's emotional well-being, even if that impact has them clinging onto something that isn't really there.
'Take It Too' is a slower tempo track, that takes a dive into R&B and folk-pop, bearing semblance to the likes of Phoebe Bridgers by using a more modern style but still having classic folk basing. One of the key aspects of May’s music is obviously her incredible voice. Her soft and emotional delivery being a reoccurring theme throughout this EP. This gels perfectly with the sad nature that a lot of her songs originate from, the light singing compliments the intimacy of moments such as “When all's been said and done, I know I feel used” a message many can align with. Despite May's usual style being mellow and calm she added some serious projection in her voice at certain stages of the tune, one example being “None of this was ever fucking fair!” acting as somewhat of a climax prior to the closing stage of the track. May’s voice rings through your head long after listening, sticking with you in the very best way. I simply can't get this song out of my head! There are many quotes from this tune that stay with you after listening but for myself it was the final line, ‘If you can take it, I can take it too’. The perfect ending to aa truly compelling song.
'I Hate It When You Touch Me' is a tough song to listen to at times. Not because its a bad song, but because of an amalgamation of three points. May’s incredibly vivid storytelling, her emotional delivery and the songs very real subject matter. This song encapsulates everything that this EP is about. A journey of self-therapy, delving into the anguish experienced as a sensitive young woman who has been wronged, seemingly over and over again throughout her short life. May has said herself that 'releasing this EP feels like letting go of years of trauma', with this song representing some of her lowest points. Rather than quoting any other lines from the song. Just the title lyric 'I hate it when you touch me' is a phrase that can convey a range of emotions, from irritation and frustration to deeper feelings of resentment and trauma. It ultimately serves as a powerful expression of one's need for physical and emotional autonomy. What a beautifully heart breaking song.
Sadly we're at the final song from this unbelievable EP, titled 'Between the Lines,' continuing with the theme, these lyrics convey a sense of ambiguity and uncertainty in the context of a relationship. The line "It always ends, we’ll make amends. It all depends" suggests a cycle of beginnings and endings in the relationship, with the hope of reconciliation. It reflects the idea that the outcome is contingent on someone backing down, even if they don't necessarily believe what they're saying. The following line, "And there's something here to save, but that's something you'll never hear me say," hints at an underlying desire to salvage the relationship, yet an unwillingness to express it openly. It speaks to the complexities of pride, communication, and vulnerability within the often uncertain dynamics of love. The phrase "I’m stuck between the lines" encapsulates the emotional turmoil and confusion that often arise when you're torn between conflicting feelings and desires, caught in a space of indecision and inner conflict.
This EP is a masterpiece that delves into the depths of some subjects that other artists stray away from, narrating the emotional journey of a young woman with raw honesty and vulnerability. Each track, from the title song 'Sane' to 'Between the Lines,' offers a window into the complexities of love, self-discovery, and healing. May's beautiful voice and poignant storytelling create an intimate and unforgettable listen. 10/10, 100/100 or 1000/1000 — whatever numbers you want to use, it's a perfect project. We can't wait to hear even more from this incredibly talented artist in the future.