Mayhemtom talks about his emotional and impactful single ‘Wake Up’

Indie-rock instrumentalist Mayhemtom dives into his single Wake up and elaborates on the song’s themes of domestic violence awareness.

Basing himself in Melbourne, Indie-rock artist Mayhemtom (Tom for short) initially sacrificed his musical passions in favour of his professional life as a med student. However, he recently came soaring back into the music world as a way to artistically express and explore the existentialist challenges he’s experienced working in a hospital.

His love of playing piano and guitar led him to produce his album The Art Of Flying While Falling, which was released in October of last year. Consisting of 12 tracks, his sophisticated indie sound travels through melodic and vibrant keys and flavorful guitar work. The tracks express love stories, political injustice, the cruel art of hurting loved ones, family separation, confronting death and adultery and all the mixed emotions involved with these concepts. It’s an eclectic array of emotions and experiences, destined to grab the attention of all kinds of people and connect them through struggles that can otherwise make people feel deeply alone and lost.

Credit: Press

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.” 

It’s an album that hits you right in the stomach, heart and soul. Taking you on a full body experience through emotions, stories and experiences from the everyday to the catastrophic, yet also dives into moments of beauty that are radiant and euphoric. It ventures through dry deserts of despair and sharp icicles of injustice that are relevant to people all over the world, yet it also affectionately reminds listeners to remember that life is what we make it, and you need to let that guide you every day.

Credit: Press

Tom opened up about the last track on the album, Wake Up which speaks out about the continuing and devastating pandemic of Domestic violence. An issue that reaches every section of the world and all kinds of people, particularly one that women everywhere are either personally affected by or greatly afraid they will be.

*Happy issues a trigger warning as domestic violence is discussed in the next section*

WAKE UP; A story of domestic violence.

The second single we released was called Wake Up. It’s not a catchy or happy track and is the last one on the album The art of flying while falling. We thought although it’s not your typical release it is a really powerful song, full of emotion and captures the underlying mood
of the album. It’s a dark story of a woman escaping an abusive relationship and praying her abuser doesn’t wake up. I had been reading a lot of articles about coercive control and some of the thoughts from victims of domestic violence and the common threads of being gaslit over the years to accept the situation they were in.

And then some were able to escape, but sadly many do not. There is a personal aspect to the emotion in this track, but the story is not my own. I know many people, mainly women, who have found themselves in this situation. It isn’t a unique story, and it transcends cultures and socioeconomic status. It’s the only track in 6/8 and was originally meant to be just me playing it solo, lo-fi as an end track. The guitar was really a scratch version, played in the producer’s kitchen to use for me to sing the vocals. I didn’t think it would actually get used, but it works. The production was amazing on this track in the end with strings, keys and synth really building the emotions in it. It doesn’t pop, nor is it easily accessible, but I think that is where its power lies. I know it has connected with some listeners who have messaged me about this track specifically. I hope it isn’t triggering but enables emotional release.

Credit: Press

To listen to the whole album of The art of flying while falling, check out the Spotify link below and get ready to be blown away, in all kinds of directions.