I don’t think I’ve ever heard Nick be so raw in his music.
That’s my starting point, as I listen to this song for the very first time. You can hear it in his voice, in the lyrics, and see it in the teasers we’ve gotten this far of the music video (which as of this point, while I’m writing this hasn’t been posted yet.) I’m sure the video will hit even harder. I don’t know if I’ll post about that, that might be too hard. You can hear his pain. Now, I’ve always said and Nick himself has said that music has been a release for him, performing it. It’s how he coped with losing his sister Leslie, and then again after Aaron’s recent passing. And it’s something I’ve avoided blogging about as a whole, out of respect to Nick. But I don’t think we can talk about the song without talking about that now. I think that’s okay, given that the song now, is being put out there as a tribute to his brother.
I’m not thinking about this post in advance, or gathering my thoughts. I feel like this song in particular deserves my immediate reaction, my immediate emotions. So stream of consciousness it is while the song plays on repeat. And I keep going to just how painfully honest this song truly is. Nick if he ever got criticized by fans concerning his music, it’s that they felt he wasn’t giving enough of himself in the songs he wrote. His struggles have been something he’s been open about for over a decade now. We know about his toxic family and the things he’s done to break the cycle and escape that.
(I actually disagreed, Scary Monster being a recent example. )
But this song is just Nick exposed for the world to see and to hear. Vocally and lyrically. The melody is haunting. He went to work on getting this song he wrote years ago out there soon after Aaron passed. As someone who’s lost loved ones, I understand that urge to bury yourself in projects. A distraction, or even a form of therapy. We expected him to perform, because like I said above, that’s his way of trying to deal. He’s said so himself.
But…listening to the lyrics?
Its hard to let go of the anger
I know for me it took some time
Sometimes the darkness lasts forever
Feels like the light won’t ever shine
Always hoped your tomorrows
Would better than the days before
I hoped you’d find your road follow
To a place you were happy in this world
Cause it hurts to love you
But I love you still
Miss you with all my heart
You know I always will
I always prayed for peace
And how your soul could feel
You know it hurts to love you
But I love you still
They hit home. For anyone who knows someone who lost the battle, whether it was to mental illness, or addiction, or some combination of both. For anyone who’s been watching someone fight but refuse any help you try to give? Those lyrics hit where it hurts. And if I’m being honest, I’m tearing up as I write this. He said on a recent live that this is the most important song of his entire career and I can see why. The reason it’s come about is tragic, but at the very least Nick’s trying to create something beautiful out of it.
Because what happened to Aaron, was something we all wish didn’t. But his loved ones are trying to create some good out of their loss. For those who missed it, Nick’s doing a benefit concert that his sister Angel organized in honor of Aaron. All the proceeds are going to the charity On Our Sleeves – an organization that helps children struggling with mental illnesses. They’re live streaming it for those who can’t be there. If you can, I advise you buy a ticket. I’m going since it’s in LA and I’ll be posting my thoughts as it’ll be the first time Nick sings this song live.
I know at this point, I’m rambling and that’s just because Nick’s song really hit home. More than I can ever express. And that’s okay because we have artists, with honest to god talent creating art like this so we don’t have to, creating songs like this so they can get their feelings out into the world. No matter how hard it is.
Thank you Nick for sharing this piece of your soul with us. It’s truly beautiful.