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Philip La Rosa runs us through his 5 favourite artists tackling mental health

In the midst of last week’s World Mental Health Day, Philip La Rosa released his stunning new single Drowning. The track shared the Perth based artist’s emotional experience with watching someone close to you struggle with their mental health.

Philip La Rosa shares which Australian artists he feels have contributed to opening the dialogue surrounding the often stigmatised topic of mental health.

Philip La Rosa’s track Drowning was written from the perspective of a close friend’s experience with depression and anxiety. The raw and evocative track dives into the pervasive feelings of self-doubt and hopelessness one can often experience when struggling with their mental health

“Seeing loved one’s struggle is extremely hard, and feeling helpless or worthless is even harder. I hope anyone who hears this song knows; they aren’t worthless and there is always someone they can talk to.”

Philip runs us through his favourite Australian artists putting mental health onto a much needed social platform.

Imbi The Girl – Swell

Imbi The Girl is a lyrical maestro. Swell throws you straight into their mind, no filters. And with no filters comes the reality of mental illnesses like anxiety.

It goes beyond a portrayal of constant suffering. Mental health can be a wave that swells and tides and is not exactly easy to explain to others, and it’s clear that Imbi struggles with defining their condition themselves.

I think this track does an incredible job of it. For Imbi, anxiety is experiencing everything overwhelmingly at once, and then nothing at all.

Jack River – Her Smile

I’ve been obsessed with Jack River for a while now. The emotional honesty she gives off in her tracks is so strong; it’s impossible not to be thrust at full blast into the worlds she creates through music.

Her debut album opener, Her Smile puts you into a dream-like state, where she walks you through the full experience of grief, loss, and eventually coming to acceptance and recovery.

What I find most inspiring is that she wrote part of the track 5 years on from the first. In the track she’s speaking to her younger self after recovering from a dark place, offering a new perspective.

Max Quinn – Serotonin

My release day twin, Max Quinn, just dropped his latest tune, Serotonin. The wit and matter-of-factness he uses to depicts everyday life with mental illness are incredibly important. It follows a rough road of trying to learn how to take care of yourself as a recovering, mentally ill young adult in 2018.

He runs us through the conflict of feeling privileged to be alive, yet having your brain work directly against your happiness, against your will. As the song moves along, he progresses from taking his medication with a shot of malty Milo goodness, to some hydrating h2o, and I applaud him for that – is this adulthood?

Slum Sociable – Castle

This track is where Melbourne kings, Slum Sociable, sing about being afraid to speak. The message is straight up. Sometimes when you’re in a battle with your mind, you can end up too proud to have an honest discussion about it with the people closest to you.

You build up emotional walls, but the people that matter most will be there for you to force their way through them, and get you help.

LANKS – Comfortable

Artists tend to allow their lyrics to be interpreted by the listener, but when I found out the story behind this song, it completely changed it for me.

LANKS lets his listeners know that he wrote this song from the perspective of a friend of his – a mental health service worker to a person who sadly took their own life.

It really shows off LANKS’ poetic lyrical abilities, expressive production, and tells a heartbreaking story with beauty and hope.

Check out the beautiful new clip for Drowning below.

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October 17, 2018

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