To hint subtly at depression in music feels common. Burying struggles within art is what most art is created from, but to be completely honest, completely raw in dealing with depression is a little less often seen. Vince Grant states that he “write[s] songs to cope. I’d like to say I write songs to heal, but that may be asking too much.” If healing is not yet achieved, it is safe to say that by opening a discussion, Vince Grant is opening a channel for others to heal, and that is something amazing.
And open a discussion he has. He’s been recently featured in the Huffington Post, and his EP, My Depression is Always Trying to Kill Me, is a stunner. It begins with the lead single, “Melancholia” which has a new music video you can watch here. The track introduces some of the themes of the EP. Depression is personified as something akin to a lover — something with that same complicated mix of emotions that art deals with so often. The musical element is simplified, but works in the wake of the powerful lyrics. The second track, “Oceans II”, steps it up in the non-vocal departments with a bass line that sets a tone amidst semi-vague, but beautiful, setting descriptions.
It’s in “Edge of the World” that we get the bite that was perhaps lacking in the first two songs, the bittersweet hook of haunting (or angelic?) synths. There is a little of The Tragically Hip in the all-encompassing atmosphere. “There is no cure,” Vince Grant sings, and we feel for him in this song made up of apologies. “How Many Times You” is a definite highlight, with a music video that can be seen here. There are elements of Manic Street Preachers in that adherence to rock and roll vibes, but also something undoubtedly modern at play within the synth lines. The opposite of the opening track, this one seems to have a musical emphasis over the lyrical.
At the end of the album is the longest track on an EP of long tracks. The sprawl of “Sweet Addiction” plays with a new (but interweaved) set of struggles that Vince Grant has faced: addiction. It’s a powerful way to end a powerful EP, with a mix of sweet and sour, high and low. Overall, we are presented with a journey in an album, a dissection of depression in its many forms and stages. Vince Grant is going somewhere with his art, and I am excited to see his next move.