It's Mental Health Awareness Week!
...at least it was - it was when Scott Hutchison of one of my favorite bands Frightened Rabbit took his own life - probably acting out the story of a song he'd written 10 years ago - 10 years ago when he had more hope.
You never know what it is about a song that's going to get you - could be the melody, a lyric, the overall instrumentation and production - but for a song to catch your attention - there needs to be a hook - this one gets you like a dagger to the heart!
It's a tough topic this week - Alzheimer's disease - I believe we're at the beginning of a massive increase in cases and I suspect we're not really prepared.
It was a great conversation this morning with Sharon at Grief Reiki and rather than go over that - go watch the video below - Sharon has a lot of good insights and tools for those who are affected by this difficult disease…
You know when you're full to the brim - when your emotions are so high you can barely hold them back and you're struggling to keep yourself composed? For me it's never a sad song that breaks the dam - it's always a happy one - and this track is the worst!
I thought there'd be a couple of Avicii tracks in this week's submissions and while Noka's selection of Wake Me Up on the Music to Vibe To list was beautifully written and a must read / listen, it was the track from Matt Jenko and the Music to Save The World playlist that caught my ear.
We're currently working with Fiona as part of the promotion of her new project Flow over on the Music to Write An Essay To playlist. If you're looking for beautiful instrumental music that has been produced to an incredibly high level, we can't recommend this album enough. Head on over to the track that we're featuring - itself called Flow - and check this beautiful music out.
You never know what it is about a song that's finally going to get you - the melody - the chorus - a particular lyric or even the video - but for me - Burning Blue has a hook to kill all hooks and it'll haunt your dreams.
Sometimes only a classic will do & this 1984 track from Phil Collins most definitely falls into that category. If you're the one being left - if you're the one standing there watching your love walk away and taking half of your heart with them - then this is for you!
I do this because I believe music can make the shit times better.
Henry is a Music to Curator - he curates the Music to Stay Up Late At Night playlist - it's a beautifully put together list - the music is often familiar and yet when you hear something new - it's always great. But for me - my favorite thing about his list, is the writing. He writes with such an authentic voice that you can't help but feel as if you're sitting there, next to him...
So it's the anniversary of my Dad's death - it's been three years - it's weird. I've been out of sorts for days - weeks actually. While there's been a lot going on I've just not felt right - not wanting to move forward - wanting to withdraw and not be a part of anything.
A return to the playlist's roots this week with a stunning solo piece from Canadian pianist Ian Wong. While sad songs - and by songs I mean tracks with lyrics - can tell a specific story - sometimes you just need an instrumental track to create your own narrative. Right now it's raining outside, the sky is kinda grey and you know it's cold - there's a general melancholic feel to the world and this track accompanies it perfectly.
I was writing a few weeks back about how it’s often seeing an act of human kindness that will make me cry – more so than experiencing something sad. There’s something in that – focusing on the good rather than the bad - that makes this track resonate for the grieve to list.
Listening to sad music isn’t exactly a group activity.
You don’t call your friends up and go “Hey guys, fancy coming round and spending the evening bawling your eyes out…?”
Sad music is best listened to in isolation...
I've been living with this track for weeks now - letting it creep up on me and infect my bones - I knew it would appear on the list - just didn't know when.
Sometimes you just want to cry. Do you ever get that? Where for whatever reason you realize that your emotions are full to the brim and you think you're about to burst? When I'm in that space it's this track I listen to - actually - it's this track that I watch.
While the idea behind the playlist is that sad music can make you feel better - when I want to cry, I don't go looking for sad things - I go looking for beauty. I am way more likely to well up when I see human kindness than I am over human despair.
I was chatting with Val, host of the Loss to Profound podcast and we ended up talking about music – shocker huh!? We were talking about how music is this amazing tool to help people when they are down because it delivers a way for them to connect to humanity without the need for anyone to be there...
So we're going back to our roots this week - soulful, sad piano music designed to put you in a reflective state and allow the melody to work its magic. Igor Longhi is most definitely a magician!
This is another song from the other perspective.
If last week’s Radiohead track was about mental illness and what it’s like to be in love with someone who has it – this week’s track is about relationships and what it’s like to be the one who leaves.
It's interesting to see the main themes that come out from this music to grieve to playlist - certainly there's death and loss, there's depression and mental illness, there's the whole relationship breakup genre and there's family and friend trauma, although strangely enough, not many songs about moving house (which often makes the top 5 lists of "most stressful things that can happen to you!")
You know what grief is good at? Apart from the whole making you feel like shit and depressed and generally pretty miserable - grief is really fucking good at forcing you to be real - to be honest - to be true to who you are. Most things in life you can skate over, even unpleasant memories can be safely tucked away and dealt with maybe never, but grief - grief you can't control - grief hangs around, discombobulating your daily life until you deal with it.