Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Alyse Vellturo, known professionally as Pronoun, was named by Billboard as one of the breakout indie artists for 2019 to be on the watch for. But she’s been on our radar for much longer than that, and at last, her debut full-length album I’ll Show You Stronger is out today (May 24).
Pronoun’s 2016 4-track EP, There’s No One New Around You, addresses the emotional stages that one goes through in a relationship. Now, the long-awaited follow-up project touches on themes of heartbreak, depression, moving forward, relief, and letting go.
Throughout the 12 tracks, Pronoun explores self-discovery, showing her fans sides of herself that she’s never revealed before.
Check out Pronoun’s track-by-track breakdown of I’ll Show You Stronger below.
“You’re Not Trying At All”
Everyone reacts to loss/stress/depression in different ways. I, personally, lose my appetite, which is where the refrain, “I’m not eating, I’m not hungry at all, always tired can’t fit in to my clothes,” comes from. I lost a ton of weight around this time and had a really hard time sleeping. When finishing up this one, I thought what if I just screamed, “You’re not trying at all?” This was that start of pushing my vocal recording and performance in a more uncomfortable direction. I really wanted the end to slap you in the face, as it’s the first track; for people to be like, “Woah, never heard that side of Pronoun before.”
“Run” has been out for over a year now, but it was the world’s introduction to my new sound and what to expect from this album. It touches on the frustration of knowing someone so well and knowing they’re about to flee from all of their problems and go start a new life, when part of you hopes the inevitable is in your head but the other part knows better, and they’re gonna run.
“You Didn’t Even Make The Bed”
That specific moment when you are desperately hard to keep your composure and not completely lose your shit.
“For The Story”
“For The Story” is another song that I wanted to push my production/style a bit on. It was recorded with my bassists, drummer, and guitarists live with no click at The Buddy Project in Queens, N.Y. Pretty sure I wrote the entire thing on a walk to a bodega in Bushwick, grabbing a loosey cigarette during a break from recording. When it came time to write another verse, it felt too forced and I decided, “Why not just leave it at that?” Maybe that’s all I needed to say on this one. It ended up perfectly leading in to “Stay.”
I wanted to make a song about the exact moment you’re going through a confrontation and the second-by-second minute-by-minute realizations. The clock ticking, your heartbeat, everything. A lot of this album is conversation with myself, it’s helping me walk through past events of my life and navigating how to move forward.
I remember longboarding down the streets of SXSW 2016 writing this. All the new people and artists I was seeing and meeting — it was one of those moments where I realized how lucky I was and that even though I was feeling so, so depressed, there were still good vibes all around me. I just had to look for them.
That moment in the relationship when you realize you’ve been played. Although in that moment it’s heartbreaking and you feel like the biggest idiot, you know that eventually you will come out on the other end and use that experience to grow.
This song is an interlude of sorts. It was another old demo that was written back around [2016 EP] There’s No One New Around You that I revisited way after the fact. I really wanted to include this track on this album and it was a really hard one to finish. Towards the end, I was about to give up and pushed myself to get creative. Nowhere near a single, but I can’t imagine this record without it.
“The Pieces Of You”
Broken people try and break others. You can always piece yourself together. When you’re at your lowest, remember that at the end of the day, you are still yourself, you own every part of you and are in control of it. Feel what you need to, but never forget that.
“As If” is a breakthrough. It was written in the moment when I started half-realizing what I was worth and fully realizing the heartbreaking situation I was in. The person who had hurt me, bad, reached out, out of the blue, and was like, “Hope all is well!” This song is kind of the side-eye laugh to that interaction. The “chorus” is really just a harmonic exhale of relief.
“Wrong” came from the complicated emotion of apathy for someone you “hate.”
This song was always meant to be the last in this collection. I love this album and it puts into stone a moment in my life and how I was feeling, but eventually it’s time to move on from that moment. “Everybody Knows” is kind of like an inspirational eye roll. It’s me talking to myself, like, “Yes, I know, that sucked that was hard, and everybody knows it was, but let’s move on to something new now.” This is just that start, [and leads into] the theme of the next album, which is looking at yourself in the mirror, without all the distractions of other issues, and being like “Fuck, who am I when I’m alone with my thoughts and myself?”