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Lydia Goldthorpe on “My Sky,” Psychotherapy, and a New Album

LG

Pop music reviewers love to make “comps”: comparisons between current artists and their predecessors. (Example: Lady Pills sounds like a better Blondie.) But Australian-born artist Lydia Goldthorpe’s music invites comparisons to classical composers like Erik Satie. Musically, her new song “My Sky” creates a pensive reverie, just like Satie’s famous “Gymnopédie No.1.” The lyrics likewise have a classical feel, almost like the poems of Edna St. Vincent Millay.

Pretender, prove yourself to be true

My sky the mender,

I surrender to you

There’s a stately quality to this song, almost like you’re taking a bath to cleanse yourself from indie pop obsessions like boyfriends, breakups and Tik Tok theatrics.

Goldthorpe is now a practicing psychotherapist in Scotland – and I’d wager she’s a great one. “My Sky” aims for clarity and healing, just like a therapy session.

I’ve given all I’ve got

That’s all I’ve got to give

Here I am at the beginning

And at the end

Like many great songs, “My Sky” has a dreamlike quality – but you don’t have to be Carl Jung to appreciate its elegant melody and singing.

What is the primary emotion in your new song “My Sky”? The “lyrics” to the song should more properly be called “poetry,” so what’s the essence of what you’re trying to convey in “My Sky”?

Ultimately, the essence of “My Sky” explores being in any state of transition. The initial concept for the song was born from the primary emotion of transcendence: my mother was diagnosed with cancer in the brain with a terminal diagnosis and I wrote about it.

“My Sky” is the first release from your new 10-song album Hold. Can you tell us a little bit about some of the other songs on the album?

Hold is a collection of simple songs regarding femininity, grief, nature and hope. Musically, my producer Garry Boyle from Slate Room Studios and I wanted to create something that gave attention to natural textures of the piano and voice.  

Is it okay to mention that you’re a psychotherapist in Edinburgh, Scotland? You and Maggie Rogers are starting a new trend. She’s enrolled in the Harvard divinity school as she launches her new record! Can you share your thoughts on this dual path — music and psychotherapy — and how one path reinforces the other?

Absolutely. As a psychotherapist I am interested in how music (or any artistic medium) can work in conjunction with themes being explored in psychotherapy, providing a secondary place where emotions or one’s experience of the world can be further articulated.  

Songwriting is a place that I go to with abandon and purity.  It’s a mechanism which simultaneously secures me and frees me up. Psychotherapy helps expand my self-awareness and gives me the tools to champion this in others. The two pursuits interact in a way that is rewarding on numerous levels and I find their variation invigorating.  

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