Bipolar disorder becomes a muse for a raw, vulnerable new track from Kennedy Ashlyn, aka SRSQ. Ashlyn’s unique songwriting turns her private struggles and sorrows into stirring, redemptive anthems. Her multi-octave range embodies tempest and triumph, the darkest nights breaking into brightest dawns, proving her a musician of elemental force: the delicate, forlorn “Abyss” (from her upcoming album Ever Crashing) is no exception.
The accompanying self-directed video (with cinematography by frequent collaborator Leigh Violet) depicts her submerged in water. It’s an intense metaphor for the struggles of mental illness, both in the personal experience and that of the collective, working in tandem. Ever Crashing began materializing in the wake of an ADHD and bipolar disorder diagnosis, prompting a profound personal overhaul, using songwriting to exorcise tumultuous emotions. Ever Crashing refers to Ashlyn’s recurring sensation of being trapped in the crest of a wave, turned and churned in the surf, mirroring the cycles of self-flagellation and surrender that she battles. Music becomes, instead, a form of energetic transmutation and exquisite catharsis. Ashlyn’s dreamy vocals hover somewhere in the ether between Kate Bush and Julee Cruise, or Weyes Blood and Zola Jesus.
“Abyss describes my darkest days with the imagery of my skinless body trapped in a riptide, its rawness exacerbated by the rushing saltwater,” she says. “Suspended above is a glowing orb, the promise of peace, growing fainter and fainter as the tide pulls me down. I watch it disappear in yearning surrender, only to be resurrected by the powerful shine of the sun, which cuts through the water at random, allowing me to ascend if only for a short time. The video was shot almost entirely underwater using a homemade periscope.”
Watch the stunning video for Abyss below:
Ever Crashing. produced by Chris Coady (Beach House, Xeno & Oaklander, Slowdive, Zola Jesus) comes out August 19th via Dais Records on vinyl and across all digital platforms.
You can pre-order or pre-save here. Stay tuned for touring and live show updates.