Background to ‘Beat of Your Heart’, the next single
How are things? Gorgeous bit of sun these last few days. I hope you’re getting to enjoy some of it.
I’m in the process of getting the second single, ‘Beat of Your Heart’, ready for release. We’re working on the video at the moment, and aiming to release it in early April. It’s upbeat, and has a bit of an electronic and grungy edge to it – a slightly new departure.
I started writing it on the way home from work one day last year, just as I was beginning to feel the early phase of a migraine coming on. (I’m prone to migraines. Info below if it helps you*)
While not positive experiences, some of the things that happen during that early phase – the aura or ‘warning’ phase – can be kind of funny!
That day, I had just finished teaching an English class, and somewhere along the way home, one of the pronunciation exercises we had been doing popped back into my head. Not a problem under most circumstances.. The problem was that it replayed itself at the same volume and enthusiasm-level as the real-life version. My auditory world spontaneously filled up with a chorus of just-landed-in-the-country Brazilian and Pakistani voices, diligently chanting elementary English phrases, while I walked like an otherwise normal-looking person past the local Bingo Hall in Cabra (“WHERE are you FROM, WHAT’S your NAME, how OLD are you..?”). It was like chunks of time had been copied and pasted on top of each other and put on a loop. Absolutely bonkers.
So, in this new song, I’ve tried to channel a bit of the sense of disorientation you feel at those times, but in a tightly-structured way so that it might also be soothing for people for if their own life feels a bit out of control. I’m hoping it won’t actually give people a headache.. :-)
Aside from that, I’ve been doing a bit of thinking about what to do after the album. I’m conscious of feeling a bit directionless.. like the way you hear of people planning a wedding or something, and then coming down like a tonne of bricks afterwards. So I’m trying to get a few things lined up. College, for one, but in terms of music, maybe getting onto the support circuit and doing some opening slots for more established acts.. or writing music for different types of projects and/or collaborating with different types of artists. We’ll see.
Anyway, enough about me, I hope March has been treating you well?
Have you ever done this: draw a stickman? I rediscovered it yesterday in an idle moment and it’s absolutely brilliant, I love it. Give it a go if you’ve a minute or two to kill.
I’ll keep you posted on the single (won’t be long, I promise), but in the meantime, don’t forget your sunscreen..
..and look after yourself :-)
I don’t normally talk about this much, but hopefully it’ll be of some use to you or maybe someone you know.
What helped me most has been identifying the chief culprits (my triggers)
- 1. hormone fluctuations (especially week 2 into 3 & week 4 into 1)
- 2. over-exertion (things that cause your internal phone-battery to fall below 25%)
- 3. changes that put the body out of balance, especially if the change is sudden e.g. strong sensations (i.e. smells, sounds, bright lights, air pressure/temperature changes), too much alcohol (dehydration), too little sleep, or too long between meals
..and then minimising them [this is an ongoing thing]
The hormone fluctuations are hard to work around, but I’ve found that keeping the other things in check helps in an overall sense i.e. arranging life so that your metaphorical battery (physical and emotional) is never let run too low (#2), and trying to predict and reduce the impact of sudden changes (#3).
Things that help me keep triggers in check:
- working part-time
- knowing what restores and depletes my energy, and scheduling (way more) time (than anyone will ever encourage you to schedule) to dedicate to the restorative things e.g. being alone, reading, listening to the radio, YouTube videos, staring out the window, whatever helps
- keeping some things/people at arms’ length
- practising picking up on the earliest signs of onset, and then, in so far as possible, changing whatever needs to be changed to try to stop it from developing further
- letting people know I might have to cancel plans at late notice
- ..as well as the more commonly-cited things like staying hydrated, regular sleep patterns, not installing strobe-disco kitchen lighting.. :-) etc.
I’ve also found it helpful to read up on the different types/symptoms of migraine, and, importantly, the differences between migraine and stroke. One useful difference I read, was that stroke symptoms are usually more sudden in onset (but I’m not qualified in the area, and wouldn’t recommend taking many chances if you’re unsure!)
There are some additional study-supported ideas listed here too. And there is a lot of info out there on different medications you can try (GP/specialist/internet). I don’t know enough about these to make suggestions.
I hope this helps. Feel free to share or add resources you’ve found helpful below. And good luck :-) xx