La Roux are our featured artist this week in the Songs for Sound Minds series. Songs for Sound Minds are our picks of the best music that uplifts, inspires and boosts mental health. Songs written as an anthem to overcoming the storms of life. The songs that give hope in those times when we are struggling.
Bulletproof – La Roux
As a relationship counselling charity it would be hard for us to ignore a track that is – in the words of song co-writer Elly Jackson – ‘a relationship song’. The fact it is a brilliant piece of electronic pop is just an added bonus.
La Roux’s Bulletproof was the third single from their self-titled debut album. For many of us there will be a real resonance and familiarity in the setting of the track; the realisation that we are stuck in a loop and keep coming back to the same situation. The realisation too that, ultimately, we keep repeating the same behaviour that does us no good at all. But this time, baby, things are going to be different.
Bulletproof is a song about empowerment as much as learning from your mistakes. A song about self-care instead of hurting ourselves by coming back round for another knock down. There is an underlying strength to the track that offers great hope. It proudly asserts that no matter what we thought about ourselves before, we can take control and come back stronger, wiser and more resilient this time.
An alternative love song
In an interview for the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors’ Ivor Novello Essays Jackson explained Bulletproof as an alternative ‘love song’:
“…it’s a relationship song about being fed up – fed up of treating myself like this, and of letting myself be treated like this. It’s saying I’m not going to do this anymore, or make the same mistakes anymore.”
Part of the attraction of Bulletproof is that the specifics can be unique to whoever listens to the track. The lyrics could apply to a relationship with a partner or equally to one with a friend or family member. The interpretation might be different each time but the message remains the same: for the good of my health I am going to do things differently this time.
“For me Bulletproof is just about looking at a situation that’s usually a reoccurring one. It could be to do with anything in your life – whatever you want it to be about … realising there’s a reoccurring situation in your life, something which keeps happening to you or keeps knocking you back. Something that you can’t quite get over. It’s about going to yourself, ‘No, I’m not going to do this to myself again because it’s not good for me and I’m going to be bulletproof’.” Elly Jackson