You Don’t Have To Change, If You Don’t Want To /// Harlow’s Monkeys

If you have ever been on the receiving end of the “it’s not you, it’s me” speech, they really mean it’s you. From someone with a self-inflated ego, all of a relationship’s faults must rest with their partner. However, indie rock band Harlow’s Monkeys flips this tired, old script and accepts all of the blame on their latest single, “You Don’t Have To Change, If You Don’t Want To.”

Led by singer-songwriter Tommy P., the San Francisco-based band describes this song as an “anthemic rock song about facing anxiety and pushing forward.” Indeed, this song is about not cowering in the face of a challenge, particularly the ones inside your own mind. At the very least, there’s intent on recovery by recognizing their problems. Meanwhile, anxiety triggers are simplified as a switch that is easily and frequently engaged. As a whole, it is a song about aspiring to change, but realizes they have a myriad of issues to overcome.

Melodically, this tune’s key quality is to be understated. It doesn’t want to bring an enormous amount of attention to itself. However, it reflects the inherent, quiet desperation of seeking out relief. With how much of a light touch there is to this nimble melody, it coincides with how elusive this comfort really is.  

“You Don’t Have To Change, If You Don’t Want To” sends the message that change can also be voluntary as well as it can be mandatory. Specifically, it doesn’t want to saddle a partner with all of their issues or force them to change to accommodate them. Harlow’s Monkeys spells it out pretty clearly in the title alone: change should be a choice.  

Written by Travis Boyer





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