With his new EP ‘Yellow Brick Road’, out today (Friday, 14th August), Dylan Cartlidge has managed to pack an unreasonable amount of fun into just three tracks. Reminiscent of Bad Sounds’ 10/10 catchy bops, it’s a perfect antidote to when life feels ‘a bit much’, which right now, is all the bloody time. Whack it on your stereo asap, and find out more about each of the songs via Dylan’s handy track by track guide.
Yellow Brick Road
This song is written about the duality of dreams and expectations and the wins and disappointments that come along with that. It’s about how fear and self-sabotage can dump the weight of the world on your shoulders in your most hard-earned moments. But the message I really wanted to jump out was about how overcoming all of the adversity in life can sometimes be as simple as taking that first step and leaping into the unknown.
This was the first song I’d ever written in a big fancy studio on one of my first trips to London. I made it with a man who I now count as one of my best friends, g producer James Dring, but at the time he was more of a legendary mythical beast to me. I had no idea whether this song was going to be the end of my journey so far or the beginning, the first time I would be in a studio like this or the last. I just went into the room with the mentality that the culmination of the journey so far would be whatever song came out of the session and I would leave it all in the room regardless of what happened next, whether I was headed back to Wetherspoons or off to Los Angeles! Lucky for me, I haven’t pulled a pint since!
‘Cheerleader ‘is a song that’s all about self-esteem, stereotypes and trying to find your place in the world. A lot of the imagery in the song is inspired by the way that coming of age and establishing who you are is displayed in Hollywood movies and how often (or not) that on-screen depiction actually comes to fruition in real life.
Ultimately, it’s about having the confidence to not feel pressured into conforming to stereotypes. Everyone has to be their own Cheerleader in life, one that’s always rooting for your own unique flavour and individuality.
Recently I found out that a bunch of Liverpool fans had been using the song on TikTok to celebrate their title win which as a Man City fan wasn’t the best!
‘Summertime’ is about how ‘ignorance is bliss’ and how virtues are portrayed in society. It looks at how the “uglier” sides of ourselves are shunned and scorned and seemingly more beautiful sides of ourselves are promoted and glorified.
I think the reason we as a society are so averse to broken, misshaped or odd things is because we’re taught that we should always be trying to achieve the things to which we are not. A lot of people, me included, pursue certain narratives and conditions at certain points to convince ourselves that we can be somebody else and because of how sweet just the pursuit of being “better” can be. Particularly in the Summertime, when the sun’s shining and the heat is on your face…it can be intoxicating especially if you need a reason to escape.
I made this with an amazing producer/writer and friend of mine named Paul White who I fell In love with after hearing Danny Browns Atrocity Exhibition, and just how Pauls production was super like Jekyll and Hyde going from very raw and nasty to really soft and delicate, seems to suit the song so well. He’s the coolest brother.
Dylan Cartlidge’s new EP ‘Yellow Brick Road’ is out now.