Everyday Living by Justan Conn is an unflinching body of work that doesn’t stray away from the dark side of addiction and mental health.
Justan Conn is a Newcastle-based singer-songwriter and multi-medium artist. He has recently set his focus on creating music that has a compelling focus on uncovering the themes of mental health and overcoming drug addictions. He melds his past experiences in these themes as a tool to grow and find peace in a conservative society through his art.
Justan Conn has expressed his recovery and reflection on his lived experience in the form of an EP, titled Everyday Living. The EP comprises three dynamic tracks that delve into the world of addiction and the fros of mental health. The EP was recorded in the midst of the flooding that occurred in August on the Hunter River. The water from the river was almost meters away from flooding the studio where Justan and engineer Matthew Taylor sat. Justan recalled Matthew allowing the studio to be a space to explore creativity and be comfortable with themes that have taken inspiration from situations, approaching it in a gonzo style.
The opening track Indica is a gentle track with whimsical ambience and melodic textures that feel entrancing as if you have fallen into a lush dream. Justan spoke to Happy, describing the story behind Indica to be one that is reminiscent of the nightly strolls he would take with his friend throughout the city while high. The lyrics in Indica originally appeared as random thoughts he had during these walks, capturing them and placing them into a tangible form. With the dreamlike instrumentation, the track resembles what it must have felt like for Alice as she fell down the rabbit hole into Wonderland.
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The following track Even If I’m Not Known, contains hazy synths and rich vocals that catapult you into his subconscious. The track follows a character that Justan conjured up from the past films and books he consumed, noting his reads about Haitian Voodoo as an imperative influence on the character he built for this track. The character within Even If I’m Not Known struggles with the societal pressure within the working class before succumbing to madness and giving in to the devil. Justan recalled finding a headstone in his stomping ground of Newcastle that read “even if I’m not known”, which became the catalyst for the track and its title.
The final track titled I Think, flows on with melancholic bluesy guitar and drawn-out vocals that focus heavily on the painful emotions that came with becoming sober. Justan candidly revealed to Happy that I Think was a product of reflecting on his journey to sobriety, which hit him like a tidal wave during his surfing trip at Mungo Brush. The track sees him comes to term with his past mistakes and the unfortunate process of losing friends. He described finding comfort in being detached from everything, as well as the intensity of emotions he faced when he found himself in a position that no one could relate to as he started to regain his mental health and well-being back from the clutches of addiction.
Everyday Living is a body of work that doesn’t stray away from the darker themes of addiction and mental health. It provides unflinching insight into the struggles and wars that wage within somebody as they fight to reclaim their life back. Justan Conn has managed to eloquently translate his experience into an EP that will resonate with others who have undergone similar experiences.
You can now listen to Everyday Living via Spotify below.