“I’m trying so hard to forget you/ When were you last online?/ I should pretend I never met you/ I’m still so desperate all the time,” North London duo Ider sing, before diving into a chorus about being spooked by their reflection in the bathroom mirror in the middle of the night.
Those few lines from standout single “Mirror” pretty much sum up the debut album, Emotional Education, from Megan Markwick and Lily Somerville — self-discovery, self-worth, heartbreak, blind obsession, depression and anxiety all being themes that come into play. It’s about dealing with yourself and having introspective moments, while also keeping the human nature of connection with others in mind.
The two UK singers’ voices harmonize to create one singular voice that sometimes feels as though it’s speaking for their entire generation. “I’m in my twenties/ So I’m panicking every way/ I’m so scared of the future/ I keep missing today,” they sing on “You’ve Got Your Whole Life Ahead of You Baby” — the song with the title that was written in a notebook a year before the rest of the lyrics came, ironically enough.
Like “Mirror,” Ider’s latest single, “Wu Baby,” is another self-aware cut that explores obsession. Bubbly synths and bass are accompanied by sharp, electrifying bursts of sound as their infatuation intensifies. The single, along with the rest of the album, is an ode to youth and all of the dark and amazing things that come along with it.
Ider broke down every track on Emotional Education exclusively for Billboard, below, in honor of the album, which is out today (July 19) via Glassnote Records.
Mirror is about rediscovering yourself after a break up. It was inspired by the moment when you wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and you catch yourself in the mirror in the dark and scare yourself because it doesn’t look like you.
“Wu Baby” has been described as sounding like “Shania Twain on speed.” It is about lust, infatuation and being blindly obsessed with someone. There’s a madness to the song — in the lyrics and the music.
“Busy Being A Rockstar”
There’s a poem by Philip Larkin called “This Be The Verse” that talks about how your parents fuck you up. “Busy Being A Rockstar,” inspired by this poem, explores the cycle of human nature and how what you learn from your parents you will probably pass onto your own kids.
We found a really unique synth sound on our JDXi Roland synth which inspired the start of “Brown Sugar” and features throughout the song. We were listening to a lot of R&B at the time, which inspired the production. It’s an empowering song about sex.
“Invincible” started as an a cappella, and now that forms the verses of the song. We’ve been singing it live for the last couple of years. The song is inspired by the African proverb “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” It’s for each other, about each other and about the strength of coming together.
“Clinging To The Weekend”
The lyrics of this song were originally written on a piece of receipt paper when Lily was travelling back to London on a train from her home town in the Midlands. It is about willing someone you love — who is suffering from a loss of their self-worth and identity — to see themselves through your eyes.
“Swim” started with the riff that features in the choruses and then the rest of the song followed. We wrote it at a time when we were feeling particularly anxious about the music industry and the pressures of being an artist. It’s the last song we wrote for the album and it was recorded in Laurel Canyon, L.A.
“You’ve Got Your Whole Life Ahead Of You Baby”
Megan wrote the title of this song in a notebook about a year before the song was written. It was quite an unconscious thing which meant she forgot about it, so stumbling across it felt very serendipitous. There is an irony to this song — wishing you could live your life right now in the way you imagine your future self would want you to.
This song started with the 7/8 piano riff which Lily wrote on her mum’s piano. It is a song about discovering your self love and thanking your ex for that opportunity. It’s our version of Ariana Grande’s “Thank U, Next.”
This song comes from a very personal experience and is a direct account of being in a relationship with someone who suffers from depression. Around the time of writing it, Megan read that 1 in 4 people suffer from mental health problems today, so the song took a more universal turn, looking more to our generation as a whole.
We found some very early lyrics for this song dated back to 2015 so it’s the oldest song on the album. Coincidently, it’s about growing up and the feelings of nostalgia. The visual lyric about coming down the slide comes from a childhood memory of the slide Megan had in her back garden growing up.