Through Ralph's involvement in the Ralph's Life CD for Rethink Mental Illness, it's been a real eye opener as to how many of the musicians previously blogged either suffer from mental health issues or are close to someone that does. Because of that they were more than happy to donate a track for the CD.
One of the common denominators with them all was the almost healing effect music has whether through playing or creating it.
Recently whilst checking out the recently released double A side single by Peacock Affect; which is the alter ego of young Essex musician George Holman, it was interesting to hear his experiences and thoughts on his own struggle with mental health and how music helps him to cope.
George has been writing music from his home in Exeter since he was sixteen. Influenced by the ill-fated Elliott Smith and The Smiths, George's music stems from melodies that he picks on the guitar and lyrics that flow directly from his feelings.
"I don’t really know where my inspiration comes from because it comes through at random times. I write melodies down all the time, sometimes I'll never play that song again, but here and there an idea will become a song. I draw a lot of my inspiration from nature; the trees, the wind, the sea..."
As someone who has experienced emotional struggles and mental health issues, George uses music as a means of coping with them.
"I think my best songs comes from a really deep and horrible place."
"I really don’t think I would write anything if I hadn't suffered from any mental illness. Creating is cathartic."
BBC Radio 6 Music and some of the UK's most respected music sites are praising Peacock Affect, though for George this will never be more important than his creative output.
"For me, music isn't about providing a means to become rich and famous, I just feel really good to know that people want to listen to what I create as my lyrics are deeply personal."
"I feel comfortable in my own skin and whether I’m in a good mood or a bad mood, I have my music."
Both tracks on the double A side single The Heaven Smiles and Wallflower see George's understated vocal floated over intricate acoustic guitars.
It's the exquisite simplicity of these seemingly introspective tracks that make them so wonderfully impactive and moving.
The one thing for me to take away from listening to both the music of Peacock Affect and the thoughts of George Holman is that it's good to talk about and increase awareness of mental health issues, not only for personal improvement but for the edification of others.
If you can, go catch him on stage at either of the gigs below, he's both nervous and excited about performing live and I'm certain that you'll come away from his performance wanting more in the same way I did when listening to his tracks.
|Tue 25 Nov 2014||Ronnie Scott's London Tickets|
|Fri 05 Dec 2014||The Dublin Castle London Tickets|