If there was any year that needed feel-good music, it's 2020. That might be why so many artists are focusing their efforts on bringing music that sounds and feels good. One group, however, has been offering three-minute therapy sessions with their releases this year: Radiant Children. The trio, who we first met when we named them Bounce-Worthy back in 2018. They've been dropping nuggets of soulful wisdom all year with tracks like "Sky Mind," "Mariposa" and "Rare." Now they're giving us their full self-love manifesto with the release of their debut There's Only Being Yourself.
The set is short but very sweet as they offer their self-care gospel across nine tracks. The album offers an expansion of the jazzy R&B of their EP Tryin' with a unique and refreshing take. Each track here references taking care of one's mental health, whether it be the meditative "Sky Mind" or the confidence boost of "Mariposa" and "Rare." But it's not just all sunshine. Take, for instance, the anti-social musings of "Radio Silence," on which they contemplate feeling like the world is taking more than one can possibly give. Then there's the disco-tinged funk of "Pretend" that has a groove that we can dance to while also mining the pain of feeling alone in the world.
But for each expression of pain and mental anguish, the group offers an understanding shoulder to cry on with tracks like "Gently" and the affirming mantra "Mind Control" (which repeats the phrase "I'm in control of my body / I'm in control of my mind" over dreamy guitar strains before adding in hard-hitting drums to drive the point home).
Giving the running themes of the record, one could consider There's Only Being Yourself a concept album. However, we'd like to think of it more as a gift from Radiant Children to those of us who could use a dose of self-love and a positive message to help make it through these trying times.