Brixton-based singer-songwriter Bryde’s new single “Help Yourself” follows the seemingly axiomatic heartbreak pop song formula almost exactly. Relationship failure resulting from a singular yet nebulous cause? Roger that. The crown-jewel five word hook? Check. However, Bryde’s Sarah Howells choice deviations from this standard hit-making equation set her apart from the legions of factory assembled pop singers—namely the melancholic electric guitar and the undeniable relatable, raspy quality of Howell’s voice lends to the song.
At its onset, the minimal moody guitar rhythm conjures an intentional discomfort and anticipation that beg for resolve. True to its structure, the songstress’s coarse voice erupts into sharp crescendo of the hook “if you can’t help yourself no one else will help you out of this,” which feels like it means more with each repetition. And what exactly does it mean? Well, that’s not really the point.
The song is a showcase Bryde’s impressive vocal range, although her most exceptional vocal quality lies in her ashy timbre and seemingly uncalculated vibratos. It’s these perfect blemishes that imbue her music with a certain convincing vulnerability not normally present in singles from the usual pop titans.