Beautifully authentic stripped back piano ballad – May Payne’s latest single, ‘I Hate It When You Touch Me’ encapsulates the painful reality of being a young woman unable to say ‘no’.

Payne’s heart-wrenching track debates the deep-rooted pain of ‘mandatory intimacy’ and unwillingly enduring the unwanted touch of a man. 21-year-old singer songwriter gained a cult following online around 7 years ago for her daringly vulnerable and outspoken lyrics, allowing teens across the country to form deep rooted connections to her music. Payne continues to portray her authentic self through her explicitly raw lyrics, documenting the impact of her experience of sexual assault. Leaving her feeling disconnected from herself, May decided to outlet her emotions the only way she knows how; through writing harrowing and heartrending lyrics. 

The track is carried by the Payne’s agonising yet alluring tone, accompanied by the soft, melodic piano. The song is unvarnished, with very minimal production value. Although, this contributes to the conveyal of Payne’s entrenched despair, with the sole focus of the listener being directed towards the aching tones within her voice.  

Growing up on a diet of Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell, it’s clear to see the influences of these indisputable songwriting greats within Payne’s work. Followed by a teenage indulgence in emo music, Fall Out Boy and My Chemical Romance, which explains Payne’s established emotional intelligence communicated through her lyricism. 

IHIWYTM has the indescribable air of an established anthem, detailing the unteachable agony faced by young women who have been through similar times to May. Recorded all in one take, you can truly sense the pure longing for recovery within her tonality, something which I feel listeners will be able to latch onto from first listen. 

Written by Lilly Tarmey

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