Browsing Tag

Mental Health

Deully – This Long Road: A Resilient Journey Through Rock and Recovery

Deully, the solo project of the independent Canadian rock virtuoso, Darren Sawrenko, has added to his accoladed discography by releasing his eagerly-awaited latest LP, This Long Road, and this time, his stellar songwriting stripes are bolstered by a lyrical intensity which provides a candour-fuelled exposition on his ongoing battle with mental health and recovery.

Each of the singles on the LP is a reflection of his psyche at the time of writing. The title single is entrenched in the agony and the glimpses of hope of acknowledging that the road to recovery necessitates fortitude and endurance. You can hear every ounce of the resilience mustered to stay on the long road, which is reflected as much through the fiery vocal performance as the visceral rock instrumentals.

The guitars don’t play; they battle cry through the monolithic hard rock production, giving everyone else walking the same, often lonely, road a sense of kinship and determination to keep moving towards the destination of redemption.

With This Long Road LP, Deully isn’t solely battling his own demons, he’s rebelling against the expectations and rock n roll cliches that lead so many down a toxically glamourised self-destructive path. In our book, he couldn’t be more of a rock icon.

This Long Road was officially released on April 12th; stream the single on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Sarah O’Moore – Troubled Mind: A Soulful Reflection on Contemporary Tribulation

Sarah O’Moore’s latest single, ‘Troubled Mind’, from her upcoming debut EP ‘Social Paralysis‘, is a poignant exploration of mental health and the complexities of modern life. The powerful narrative challenges the listener to introspectively sit with societal expectations and personal struggles and proves that good songs make you feel, great songs inspire profound shifts of perception.

‘Troubled Mind’ is a testament to O’Moore’s exceptional ability to blend genres, fusing elements of RnB, Folk, and Soulful Jazz into an indie singer-songwriter production. Her vocal harmonies, reminiscent of Amy Winehouse and Macy Gray, carry endless emotional weight, resulting in a hauntingly affecting delivery as the instrumentals complement her voice perfectly, creating an eye-opening soundscape which addresses the disconnect in conversations about mental health. She delves into the reality of living with the scars of trauma and facing an uncertain future, a theme that resonates deeply in today’s climate. Her music offers a space to sit with struggles authentically, without succumbing to the pressures of toxic positivity.

Inspired by James Joyce’s “Dubliners”, O’Moore’s upcoming EP, ‘Social Paralysis’, promises to delve further into themes of social stagnation and the struggles of today’s youth. ‘Troubled Mind’ sets the tone for this journey, inviting listeners to confront the unspoken and find solace in shared experiences.

Troubled Mind was officially released on March 29; stream the single on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

frekld cloud sang a lyrical lullaby in ‘Peter Pan’ ft Jxsie Beats

frekld cloud’s latest single, Peter Pan, featuring Jxsie Beats, is a mesmerising journey through a dreamscape where the boundaries of consciousness blur. This single, a harmonious blend of ambient, videogame-inspired instrumentals and delicate pop vocals, invites listeners into a world where music and the inner trappings of a melancholy mind meld seamlessly.

At 19, frekld cloud has already shown a profound depth in his music by intertwining sound with heartfelt emotion. The lyrical lullaby is a vivid illustration of his journey, evolving from a young artist sharing his creations on YouTube and SoundCloud to an emerging voice on the global stage. His commitment to exploring mental health through music, born from a childhood where expression was a challenge, shines through in Peter Pan’s ambient, videogame-like instrumentals, which cradle the narrative of a reflective mind.

Frekld Cloud’s vocals, both soft and resonant, glide over the dreamscape, painting a picture of emotion and introspection. The lyrics, forthright and poignant, draw listeners into the artist’s psyche, exploring themes of freedom, self-awareness, and the complexities of mental health. We can’t wait to join flekld cloud on his next ethereal journey.

Peter Pan is available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Areeyedee’s latest single Insomnia is a waking industrial trap pop nightmare

With a sound as dark as the mise en scene from The Machinist, Areeyedee’s industrial trap pop single, Insomnia, conjures the disjointing and reality-warping nature of the depression symptom which creates 48-hour days where we’re left to replay twisted thoughts on a loop.

By capturing the nature of the beast and refusing to downplay the psychological downfall of the rabbit holes insomnia can take us down, the Kansas-born and raised, Darmstadt, Germany-based artist created a razor-sharp cutting exposition of mental disquietude in his lyrics and his aptly maniacal vocal delivery. With every line, he washes away the stigma while the branding of his sonic signature glows red hot through the release.

After fronting a rock band in the ’90s and landing the role of a hip-hop artist in a feature film, which made him fall in love with the genre, Areeyedee effortlessly melds the alternative with urban aesthetics in his discography, which includes tracks created with the multi-platinum producer, Freek Van Workum (21 Savage, Tech N9ne).

Insomnia will drop on January 1st; stream the single on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Lil Zino tore the stigma out of ‘PTSD’ with the drill debut of the year

After racking up over 206k streams on the official music video for his debut single, PTSD, and becoming a viral sensation on TikTok in the process, East London’s Lil Zino stormed into the rap scene with one of the strongest debuts of 2023.

With melodic minor key pseudo-trap instrumentals setting the cinematically melancholic tone, the atmosphere was set for Lil Zino to pour vulnerable candour into the track with his stonily steadfast vocal delivery which runs through in a magnetically paced cadence. While some rappers wear their trauma like a badge of honour, Lil Zino is adding nuance to the narrative by exhibiting the weight of scars, becoming one of the most authentic drill voices in the process.

There’s no understating the evocative pull of the track that projects an intimate vignette of the violent event, which led him to finding a necessary means of expression. By keeping his composure while painting a stark picture of the harsh realities of East London’s streets with his blunt bars, Lil Zino delivered a hauntingly affecting release, which will stay with you long after the outro.

Stream PTSD on SoundCloud or watch the official music video on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

How Musicians Can Crawl Out of The Imposter Syndrome Spiral

Imposter Syndrome

The term imposter syndrome is floating around a little more as of late after Lewis Capaldi’s documentary debuted on Netflix, revealing that his struggles with the syndrome are leading to the potential of him quitting music for good for the sake of his mental health.

Imposter syndrome is common among high achievers in every industry. The false belief and normal response to stressful stimuli often hit musicians the hardest due to the nature of their creative vulnerability, leading to a spiral of thinking they have been foolish to believe that they were worthy of any accolades and successes.

If you have ever noticed a pervasive narrative of “I don’t have a clue what I am doing” when things get difficult in your music career or your personal life, there is a strong chance that you are dealing with imposter syndrome. It may not be a psychological or mental health issue, but it can be severe enough that it leads to depression, chronic stress and anxiety.

The Artist and the IS

Anything from a negative review to a lack of interest after pouring your heart and soul into a PR campaign to not being able to perfect the song you have been labouring over for months can trigger imposter syndrome. Which will leave you feeling like you’re a fraud or it is only a matter of time before the imposter police come knocking on your door.

Lewis Capaldi certainly isn’t alone in his struggles with imposter syndrome; it has dampened the careers of other highly revered and celebrated artists. Nina Simone, David Bowie, Lady Gaga and Billie Holiday battled it at a certain point in their careers. Naturally, it is just as common amongst independent artists trying to put traction behind their careers as for globally acclaimed megastars.

Up-and-coming musicians hoping to get their lucky break can fall into the trap of believing that a certain amount of conditional praise or conditional worth is enough to break free from the confines of the syndrome, which forces them to look for the negatives and blind themselves to the positives. Even the sincerest praise can be dismissed by thinking, “What do they know anyway” or “They were only being nice”.

The good news is that these thought patterns are often far from truthful. The emotions you feel when this cognitive process is in action are valid. But that doesn’t mean there is any weight behind negative belief systems. Furthermore, you can relearn your habitual responses to stressful stimuli that trigger the spring in the imposter syndrome trap.

What Imposter Syndrome Is and What It Isn’t

The feelings and emotions spurred by imposter syndrome can vary and be subject to other factors, such as previous trauma. Typically, it is a feeling of being a fraud and that at any given moment your cover will be blown, and you will be found out. Though struggling with imposter syndrome can be difficult at best, it is always worth remembering that it isn’t inadept people who struggle with it. Only capable people suffer from imposter syndrome. Take solace from that fact.

Many musicians and creatives fall into the trap of relying on conditional worth for their self-esteem and confidence. It is only natural, given that no major artist has got to where they are without being championed by the right people in the industry and celebrated by legions of fans.

However, in the long run, this becomes detrimental. You can never control others. Therefore, you can never bank on conditional worth to see you through whatever the stressful stimulus is. Whether playing plenty of bum notes at an important show or struggling with writer’s block. Relying on conditional worth and praise only exacerbates stress, leading to prison bars fortifying the confines of imposter syndrome. Self-worth should always be internalised and associated with your own values. Not extrinsic ones. When you internalise your worth, you make your sense of worth unconditional.

It is often easy to confuse imposter syndrome with a lack of confidence or struggling with self-doubt. Typically, people with a diminished sense of self-confidence are often too worried about failing to try to reach their goals. People with imposter syndrome struggle when attributing their success to their ability – hence why they tend to rationalise their successes on other bases, such as luck or nepotism.

How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome

Imposter syndrome isn’t something that should be brushed under the rug for musicians – regardless of where you are in your career. It can crush your ability to perform to the best of your ability, as you will be too in your head to focus on your performance and could lead to you not reaching for or accepting opportunities because you don’t feel worthy of them and that by agreeing to them you will be exposed as the fraud you think you are.

To overcome IS, accept you need to change your responses to stimuli and that unless you rectify it now, it will only exacerbate if your status improves, your audience expands, or you get bigger opportunities.

How you overcome your imposter syndrome will depend on how it has a bearing on your music career. For example, some musicians will become perfectionists, others will feel the pressure to live up to their professional status, and others will struggle to ask for help. Once you find the root cause of your IS, you can start to address it.

For all types of IS, it is crucial not to generalise your negative feelings. Feeling anxious when meeting musicians you admire or performing in front of a large audience is natural – don’t attribute any of these feelings to your talents or skill.

Changing your relationship with failure will also be a crucial part of overcoming IS. Without failure, there is no opportunity to learn, grow, and try again. It will never expose you as a fraud – you deserve to be where you are, even if luck did open the door because excepting the role of luck is a major part of the transformation. Luck is a requirement within today’s music industry, but what you did before and after that stroke of luck matters.


Article by Amelia Vandergast

I Needs That Bag: QRome drops finance fueled new single No Romance Without

After last blasting truth into our curious ears with the hardcore statement Dum Broke Lame, QRome returns with a hugely energetic performance all about searching for a partner who shares the same vision on No Romance Without.

QRome aka QSharonne Cornwell is a Bronx, New York-based indie rapper, singer and student currently studying Mental Health in Clinical Psychology.

Taken off her hot 8-track release called Queen Theory, QRome swerves into the underground with lots of confidence and tightly twisted lyrics interwoven with vicious vocals to get behind. There is a raw element here which shows us her progression and that love of pushing through relevant topics most can truly relate to.

Racing through this rather superior effort which is made with heart and soul, QRome has dropped a memorable track to pulsate all ears with. This is an exceptional song which has been formed with grit and determination, as we find a spectacular thunderbolt to return blood levels to normal.

No Romance Without from the Bronx, New York-based indie rapper QRome is the kind of quick-fire soundtrack to finding that monetary finance to do anything you want. Sizzling with heat and taking us into this carefully written story, this is a rather superb track to play rather loud.

Turn this up on Spotify.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Juliette Irons bends the pop genre to breaking point in her viscerally confessional single, Prisoner of My Mind

Lyrically, Juliette Irons reigns supreme over Baby Queen in her latest candour-fuelled alt synth-pop hit, Prisoner of My Mind. The gritty future-pop production plays with tension in the progressions to further amplify the visceral confessional nature of the track which flows through artfully jarring breakbeats and lush synth chords.

The song was inspired by her experience with panic disorder and her determination to help anyone struggling with the same conditions. As someone on a similar anxious wavelength, I can safely say that the badass icon that Juliette Irons has already become has left me inspired about what people can achieve – even when they are struggling with the exhausting shackles of mental illness.

The Canadian-born, LA-based singer-songwriter and choreographer is becoming renowned for her cinematic music videos and flawlessly raw expositions of heartbreak and the other darkest facets of the human psyche. It’s going to be amazing watching her ascend the pop charts.

Prisoner of My Mind was officially released on September 30th. Watch the official music video on YouTube, or add the track to your Spotify playlists.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Tony Driver painted a portrait of disassociation and disillusion with his razor-sharp ambient hip hop single, Myself

Taken from his self-titled third album, Tony Driver’s single, Myself, is yet another testament to his bold vulnerability that allows his lines to hit bruisingly hard. Never afraid to navigate mental health struggles, Tony Driver delivered an intimate exposition of the lengths of his disassociation and disillusion with the world that makes alienation non-optional for so many.

To counterbalance the weight of the lyrics, “I’m tired of hiding, but who here would even care, is anyone even there?” Tony Driver set up an ambiently melodic chillwave soundscape which juxtaposes the dynamically flawless flows, which will cut razor-sharp with anyone in the same headspace. I, for one, can wholly relate.

Myself, along with the self-titled album, is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Elias Kopp tames the black dog in his melodic pop mental health advocation, Low

Many things in the UK feel absurd right now; you can add Elias Kopp’s underground status to the list of nonsensically baffling things. His latest single, Low, is the epitome of a melancholic melodic masterpiece.

The moody synths and the sweetly lamenting vocal harmonies pull together to make all the mornings you have woken up with the metaphorical black dog beside you fleetingly worth it. As the lyrics yearn for serotonin, Low ironically delivers.

The Brighton, UK-based artist remains committed to proving to people struggling with mental health that they’re not in the minority and that it is possible to come out the other side stronger. From an artist with a fraction less finesse in their sound, that may come across as a little cliché, but Kopp’s sound is always soaked in sincerity. With an album in the pipeline, there has never been a better time to save space on your radar.

Low is now available to stream on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast