This year I have been releasing new music for the first time in a long time. I never stopped making music. For whatever reason (there are many) I just stopped sharing it publicly.
Over the last few weeks I have released two new songs, ‘Rain Clouds’ and ‘A Happy Man Won’t Understand’. The response to these songs has been great. People say the music sounds beautiful… and unbelievably sad.
Some listeners, fans, friends and family have contacted me about it. First, they congratulate me on the music and then say they’re worried that I’m going to take a bunch of sleeping pills or drive my car off of a bridge or something.
And it’s no wonder, with lyrics like this:
When thoughts come my way
All of the colors turn to grey
And I try to find the words
To tell them to please go away
‘Rain Clouds’ from the album STAR CHILD (2019)
I am happy to report that I am doing well – and the music, while melancholy as hell is actually one of the most mentally healthy things I can do. It’s the reason I started doing music in the first place.
Since childhood, music has been therapeutic. If I am feeling overwhelmed, sad, scared or depressed – music is a way to get it out. I take all of my awful feelings and dark thoughts and convert them into guitar chords and phrases. Then I play and sing them to get them out of myself and into other people’s ears.
The beauty of this alchemy is that by the time these horrible feelings are converted into music and make their way to your headphones, they are transformed into something beautiful. Sometimes beautiful enough to make you cry – or smile – or laugh – or forget about your own worries for a while.
In fact, it is my long time belief that without depressions and sadness, there would be no beautiful art in our world. All of the best art mankind has ever created seems to come from the most depressed, dysfunctional and/or crazy people among us.
We call them ‘artists’ and sometimes the greatest medium an artist can work with is their own tears.
So please don’t worry about me. I am about to release a ten song album filled with sad, dark and pretty songs. The sadder the song, the more therapeutic it was to create it. So if a sad song makes you cry, let it be tears of joy.
And a piece of advice for you – if you currently struggle with sadness, depression, addiction or unease like me. Pour those feelings into some type of art. Pick a medium: you can use music, poetry, paintings, coloring books, wood work or even blog posts as a way to get it out.
Your sadness is a blessed object that you can reshape and send out into the world as something uniquely beautiful. Doing this is helpful and accomplishes (at least) two things:
- It gets the sadness out of you
- It makes the world a better place
The pop charts are filled with (seemingly) happy artists squawking happy, vapid lyrics over algorithmic music made by computers.
The world doesn’t need more of that. We need you.
To your tears,