Alternative singer-songwriter, producer Austin Harms is closing this turbulent year with a dose of medicine for your soul on new single, “Gone Away”. The emotional driven downtempo soars into a sea of vulnerability as Harms reexamines his scars stemming from loss of his father. Harms has an epiphany of sorts, discovering his painful wounds gradually healing as he comes to terms to what his father’s legacy is. The song represents a safety belt on the tallest rollercoaster ride, giving you a sense of security that no matter how hard you fall towards the ground, have faith you will rise up again.
We spoke with Harms as he began gearing up to release “Gone Away” where we spoke about the healing process of grieving, how quarantine has taken a toll on his mental health and seeking the light out of dark times.
Life is full of unexpected surprises, this year froze in time, Darkness became an all consuming storm drowning out the light. Lockdowns became the norm, togetherness with others flew out the window. For Harms, the global pandemic was a wrecking ball of emotional devastation, “It’s been really challenging on my mental health. My anxiety has gone wild this year. And weird but I think it’s been harder to write. Things have felt heavier than usual lately and I think it’s made it more difficult for me to find motivation to explore new songs and be creative.”
“Gone Away” was first conceived when Harms finished his first EP, “BLOOD” two years ago. “I wrote the first verse and the chorus of this song two years ago in my bedroom. It was one of those songs that came out of nowhere. I think I had just finished up my BLOOD EP and was in a different creative space at the time so I didn’t really know what it was or what to do with it.” Harm’s describes revisiting the track several times before finishing it completely, “I took it to my friend Luke Shrestha several months later – this was spring of last year – and he helped me add to it and get it closer to a finished song. Then it was just a few months ago that I decided to open it up and finish it all the way.” It was challenging to revisit the song once again, “I guess the most difficult part happened every time I re-opened the song and reimagined what it could be. “ Finishing “Gone Away” reignited the spark of joy for Harms, “I think my favorite part was the night I wrote it. There’s such a good feeling that comes with writing a new song. The rest of the process for me is just me trying to preserve that initial energy.”
The track gave Harms a pinch of optimism in regards to his grieving process, “I think it was one of the first times I can remember that I had a different outlook on the loss of my father. It was a rare reframing of grief into something more hopeful.”
“Gone Away” reveals the silver lining we all thrive to reach when coping with a loved ones passing, a peace within ourselves. Harms describes how the track was only completed when the necessary self healing had taken place, “I think one of the reasons it took so long to finish was that I didn’t fully understand what it was when I first wrote it. I had more grieving to do and more healing to do before I was able to finish the song, so each time I came back to it I was able to add a little bit more. Finishing it was relieving – it meant I could finally let it go.”
Losing someone you love overhauls your perspective on life, it makes you pause and reevaluate how fragile life is, Harms reflects on how different life experiences have inspired a new perspective on his own mortality, “I wouldn’t say writing it changed my perspective. I think it was different life experiences that changed my perspective and ended up informing this song, if that makes any sense. I still take A LOT of things for granted, but losing someone I love has changed the way I think about my life in a lot of ways. I have a lot more “what if this is the last time I see this person” kind of moments.”
The empathetic song is the perfect prescription for anyone in the midst of the healing process of losing someone, “Man, I just hope it makes you feel something. And those that get it, hopefully it reaches you when you need it.” “Gone Away” is rich with plenty of self instrospection, Harms reflects on what making the song taught him about himself; “I learned that I am capable of looking at things through a more hopeful lens, and I learned how much it can help to reframe a situation in your mind.” While being engulfed in the excruciating stages of grieving process may not seem there’s light at the end of it, Harms hopes the song will help alleviate anyone with the symptoms of feeling isolated with grief, “I just want you to know that whatever you’re feeling or going through – you’re not alone. You will get through it, even if it doesn’t feel like it right now.”
As this new year comes to it’s conclusion, Harms hopes the new year brings him peace. ”Really hoping it holds peace of mind. And I have a lot more music to put out.”