“Mine,” the new single by New Mexico-based indie folk artist Byland (née Alie Renee Byland), is one of those songs that feels like it should be in a movie… like at the end of an indie film when the main character walks barefoot on a beach into the sunset as the credits roll. Like Sia’s ugly-cry-inducing “Breathe Me” that closed out the final episode of Six Feet Under, “Mine” digs deep into emotional wounds and rips off the scabs. It’s a painful listen, but only if you let it in… and let it in, you must.
Ebbing and flowing like a tumultuous shore, “Mine” crests and crashes with all the drama of an Ang Lee film, its cinematic piano hitting crescendos pounding broadly on heart. With climactic drum rolls and soaring strings that add texture and breathtaking surges, the song hits high and dives low. Tethered by the anchor of Byland’s almost preternatural voice, the song leaves you exhausted when its final wave crashes and slips away.
With all this emotion and drama, it’s no wonder that the song itself possesses a heavy backstory. “’Mine’ is about realizing that my energy is finite and that I have permission to say ‘no’,” explains Byland, shining some light upon the heft of the track. “I grew up idealizing the notion of giving without limit. When I felt drained, I thought there was something wrong with me.”
Lifted from her upcoming album Gray which is set for release in October 2, “Mine,” like many of the songs on the album, deals with the provocative subject of mental health. Tackling the feeling of inadequacy that others inflict on her, she sings, “Some people need more from me than I can give. / What I can give is never enough.”
“Last Summer, I was feeling especially emotionally and relationally exhausted,” she recalls. “I wrote this song while I had an overwhelming amount of calls, emails and texts to respond to. I intentionally wanted ‘Mine’s rhythm and offset melody to feel abrupt at times, to express the sense of being pulled in polarizing directions.”
Having delivered the bulk of her album to the studio and already well into the process, “Mine” was a leftover track that was itching to be heard but was almost left off the album. Thankfully, she saved it at the last minute.
“I was nervous to bring another track to my producer Nathan Yaccino, given that we were well into the recording process already,” she reveals. “But, after sharing a simple phone demo, we promptly sat down together and fleshed out the piano tracks, vocals and overall vision for this song. Abby Gunderson’s cinematic strings and Meagan Grandall’s haunting vocals helped fortify and exemplify the internal expanse this song symbolizes.”
While “Mine” is just begging to be added to a film soundtrack (Paging Ang Lee… Paging Ang Lee… This is perfect for your next film), Byland finds the song more personal, set for a smaller screen that’s just hers. “A liberating anthem, ‘Mine’ is perhaps the most emblematic of the record’s ode to prioritizing mental health, by giving a voice to subconscious thoughts, and creating space within, a space that’s mine.”