Southern California’s multi-dimensional artist and producer Austin Harms delivers new track “Slow,” a tormented electronic R&B/pop ballad driven by unstable water currents of cinematic introspection. Music is an essential art form that inspires, heals and transforms your life’s perspectives specially in uncertain times we are currently in living in. Harms dives in cloudy waters emerging drenched in strength, conviction on the hypnotic music production of “Slow”. The power of “Slow” lies its sonic fearlessness, saturated with haunting edginess lingering on your mind for hours on end.
We caught up with Harms in a revealing interview where we discussed how music is a therapeutic outlet for his mental health struggles and how our current new reality inspired the song “Slow.”
The new track echoes with a residual sentimentality quality as Harms pours his anxiety into rippling waves found on the song lyrics. Harms explains how dealing with the uncertainty of the pandemic has been tremendously triggering to write; “I think the song came out of a need to process everything that has been going on lately. I was incredibly anxious and overwhelmed – it felt like I was holding the whole world on my shoulders. I think my anxiety is triggered most often by circumstances that are out of my control, and I needed to write this song to remind myself to slow down and focus on the things that are in my control.”
Harms is no stranger to exploring the inner webs of darkness of the mind’s psyche, consistently seasoning it with quiet tenderness enveloped with a beaming light of hope. He describes how boredom led to the making the track, “To be honest, this song came out as an accident. I was bored the day before, and bought a really cheap plugin – basically a digital version of the organ that the band Beach House has used a lot. The next day, I installed it and put my fingers on the keyboard to hear what it sounded like and the song happened right there. I wrote the whole thing in a couple hours and had it completely finished by the next day, which is really weird for me. Usually when I’m working alone (which is most of the time), it takes me about a year to take a song from start to finish. So when this one took two days I felt like it happened for a reason, like maybe someone should hear it, ya know?”
There’s an enduring essence of empowerment, bravery and gratitude found spilling out from his sorrowful vocals, a homage to his loved ones and to the real Harms filled with determination to fight his inner demons of depression until he can swim back to the peaceful shore. Harms clarifies he didn’t intent on making the song that way, it just happened, “No, I didn’t go in with any preconceived notions, but I had recently had conversations with friends and loved ones about finding peace and not getting overwhelmed by everything. I think those moments subconsciously inspired the song if that makes sense.”
The track encourages openness to speak out on the struggle of mental health and anxiety. As society struggles with many unforeseen life changes, mental health is a universal concern now more than ever effecting everyone in various ways, We asked Harms if he had any advice to offer anyone who is struggling but is ashamed to reach out and ask for help: “I don’t feel like I’m in a position to give advice but I can speak on my personal experiences. I’ve learned that it’s worth it to get help – it doesn’t make you any less than anyone else. There is no shame in getting help. I think I carried that stigma for a long time, but when I finally started therapy it changed my life. I’m also on antidepressants for depression and anxiety and they have helped me manage my symptoms a bit. Recently I saw a quote that went something along the lines of, “you’ve made it through 100 percent of your worst days” and that has been a helpful reminder for me. It’s one of those “everything will be okay” type of corny cliches that sometimes is the one thing that gives me enough hope to push through the really bad times, even when I don’t want to.”
Photo Credit: Jake Messig