The Art Of Flying While Falling by Mayhemtom takes you on a whirlwind of emotions as stories of darkness and moments of light dramatically ebb and flow.
Hailing from Melbourne is Indie Rock artist Mayhemtom, who has a compelling back as a musician turned medical professional.
With the crushing workload of being a medical student leaving him drowning, he left behind his musical endeavours to keep himself afloat. However, the existentialist nature of his work and life stressors saw him return to his artistic outlet of music-making in 2022.
By playing the piano, guitar, and singing he found himself writing an album titled The Art Of Flying While Falling, which he recorded and released in October of last year. The album is comprised of 12 tracks which have been described as having a sophisticated Indie sound. Tom told Happy “This album is the distillation of a difficult childhood in an ultra-religious family of first-generation migrants, my initial aspirations as a musician, the incredible highs but also the trauma of working as an oncologist, where death and dying are ever pervasive and subsequent burnout. With the things that matter in life brought into focus, the therapy in music and using it for creative purpose has been an uplifting force.”
The opening track Wonder starts with a simmering cello and intricately plucked melodic guitar. Thematically the track thrusts you into the political world of climate change, begging us not to lose sight of the fact that we can be the change that we want to see, and how wonderful a place this world can be.
Second track Alone continues with the political pioneering topics, with gripping instrumentation that follows the story of a young woman battling addiction and the woes of losing her child. The gentle melodic textures tug on your heartstrings as the narrative unfolds, sending you through a whirlwind of emotions.
The following track Falling picks up from the sombreness of its predecessors. With beautiful bright melodic keys and rich guitar chords that bring out the vibrancy of an unconditional love story, the kind that we always dream about experiencing.
Fourth track Noose continues the vibrant instrumentation and bright melodic textures that pull you into the world of political injustice and the false promises of our leaders. Tom explained candidly about the track: “Politicians, including Australia’s Morrison and their followers, paradoxically talk about Jesus while tightening a noose around our necks”
Conspire slows down the pace with rich yet sombre keys, as the narrator grapples with the overwhelming emotions of adultery, delving into their innermost thoughts. The keys play an important role of highlighting each and every emotional turn.
Hurt continues the delve into the darker side of our emotions, and the pain that comes with hurting those we love. With gentle melodic textures and the swirling of synth, it hones in on the harrowing feeling of knowing that you cannot undo the pain.
Following on is Refugee, which delves into the tortuous world of being separated from your family whilst you seek asylum in a new land. The compelling harmonies highlight the raw emotions, adding to the gripping instrumentation of delicate hums from the cello. She Said continues the rich yet melancholic melodies, as it explores the dynamics of a relationship falling apart.
Come Back To Me sees Tom candidly display his personal experience whilst working as an oncologist. It is a powerful track about the turmoil of confronting death right in the face. With gentle notes singing from the cello and rich piano chords stopping you right in your track with painstaking raw emotion. Mother continues the album’s hard-hitting topics, this time with a rockier sound of staccato guitar strums, hitting you with unflinching emotions of pent-up rage.
Reach Out takes on a different tone, with vibrant melodic guitar and pulsating beats. Being a remixed version of the track, it takes on lighter tones with added funk, in stark contrast to its melancholy-laced lyrics. The final track on the album is Wake Up, with its delicate guitar riff and the soaring hum of the cello that captivates your attention. It is a powerful track that completes the spectrum of emotions that has been scattered across The Art Of Flying While Falling.
The Art Of Flying While Falling is an album that can be best described as gut-wrenching. It takes you on a whirlwind of emotions as stories of darkness and moments of light dramatically ebb and flow. It is an album that covers the hopelessness and injustice that is found in all corners of the world, but also reminds us of how precious life is and to make the most of what we have before the curtains close.
You can listen to The Art Of Flying While Falling via Spotify below.