phem Navigates Mental Health and Young Adulthood on ‘how u stop hating urself pt. 1’

“Should I just let go, so I could crash and explode?” phem ponders on “self control,” the lead single of her new project, how u stop hating urself pt. 1. “self control” and the succeeding single, “stfu,” both seem to address a romantic partner at the surface, but it’s just as plausible that the songs are messages to her inner self. 

how u stop hating urself pt. 1 is an ode to self-discovery and balancing mental well-being, two things that are very important to phem. She told Arizona Iced Tea, “mental health and mental health awareness are extremely important to me because I’ve struggled with it, and so many people close to me have as well. My new EP is very focused on this issue. […] All I wanna do is just be more honest and upfront about what I’m going through, in the hopes that other people won’t feel so alone.” 

The extended play opens with “honest,” a fun collaboration with iann dior that seems destined to become the biggest song from the project. The two previously worked together on iann’s 2019 song “Searching” and AudioUp’s Halloween in Hell podcast before teaming up for this track, which describes the beginning stages of a relationship. It’s the perfect track for a windows-down drive in the summer, and it’s the only true love song on the album – the later track “suxker punch” explains why.

“self control” and “stfu” address how her mental health affects her relationships, over ironically boppy instrumentals. phem shared with Rock ‘N’ Load in October, “‘stfu’ is a song that was written from a stream of consciousness. It’s about overthinking and overanalyzing. Within the track, there are two conversations unfolding, one with a lover and an internal one with myself.” MASN hopped on a remix of “stfu” in November, offering a new verse about hitting what feels like rock bottom. 

The confessional “useless” sees phem addressing her insecurities and escapist tendencies, saying “it’s so useless to build a world in my head that’ll never be.” The lyric has a dual meaning, addressing both escapism through daydreaming and anxious thinking patterns. Emotive closing track “suxker punch” details the end of an unhealthy relationship, closing with a voicemail that seems to cement the breakup. The first verse may remind phem fans of her June 2018 track “crypto bitxh” – “crypto bitxh” describes her path to stardom, while the verse of “suxker punch” mentions an ex questioning whether she deserves the success she has found.

Aside from the music, a big part of this new era for phem is the EP’s accompanying visuals. Two teaser clips hinted at the project’s key themes, as well as revealing the song titles on a projector:

phem teamed up with Arizona Iced Tea’s 99 Projects for the “self control” and “stfu” music videos, which touch on self-restraint and societal pressures. She also worked with artist Olivia Ochoa on animated visuals for the solo version of “stfu,” as well as MASN’s remixed version, and “honest.”

how u stop hating urself pt. 1 is now available on all major streaming services.

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Madison Murray View All →

Hi! I’m Madison Murray, an aspiring pop culture and music journalist who also loves writing about lifestyle and fashion. I’m currently a freelance writer for TREMG, editorial intern for Young Hollywood, and music blogger for Audible Addixion – I write 1-2 posts a week on each platform. I’m also a playlist curator intern for VOLUP2 magazine. My favorite artists include Taylor Swift, Machine Gun Kelly, BLACKPINK, Elko, phem, and YUNGBLUD. She/her.

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