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  • Sneet Efrem

Review: "It Always Seemed Easier" - slo/tide

Mental health awareness is observed during the month of May, where we use it as a time to shed light on the importance of understanding and supporting those facing mental health challenges. The song "It Always Seemed Easier" by slo/tide resonates deeply with this theme, diving deep into the personal struggle of an individual grappling with their own mental health issues. This personal song captures the raw emotions and difficulties faced in navigating this journey towards healing and self-care. It reminds us that this battle is not an easy one, but emphasizes the significance of taking time for oneself and approaching it step by step. With so many individuals silently fighting similar battles, the release of this song during mental health awareness month serves as a beacon of hope, providing empathy and encouraging open conversations about mental health. By sharing their own experiences, the singer bravely contributes to the understanding of mental health, inviting others to find solace and strength in the knowledge that they are not alone.

This song is from the perspective of Spencer Chamberlain, singer from the band slo/tide. He opens the song by highlighting the confusion in his mind and his attempts to calm it down: “Let’s take a sec and figure things out ‘cause my head is a mess […] Momma told me to count to 10 and just breathe it all in.” The mention of the advice from his mother to count to 10 and take deep breaths suggests an attempt to find a sense of calm during the turmoil. Sometimes, we can forget to take care of ourselves, and instead, we steer our focus onto others and worry about how they’re doing rather than putting ourselves first. This was the case for Spencer, as he later realized how long he's been neglecting his own well-being. Once Spencer noticed himself doing this, he realized that time had been passing by so quickly without him fully experiencing his own life and checking in on himself: “I never took the time to check and see if I’m alright. I never realized how fast it all could just pass me by.” When we’re feeling down, we tend to want to isolate ourselves from others and things going on outside: “So maybe I’ll just stay in bed today. All these fake faces, they seem to keep me awake.” This could indicate Spencer’s desire to escape from the overwhelming nature of the people around him. Staying in bed feels comfortable. It’s your safe spot to separate from others. Spencer being around others when he just wants to be alone, especially when he’s feeling down and drained, is making him feel exhausted and disinterested in their company. When you’re struggling with anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues, it's common to remain in a place that you feel most familiar and comfortable at, which can be your house. It’s a place in which one is present daily. It's your safe place - one that you can always go to. Spencer staying in his house became a mechanism used to avoid facing others and just wanting to be alone: “I don’t mean to be distant, it always seemed easier. I never tried to impress myself, I just stayed in the house ‘cause it always seemed easier.” He’s also admitting to detaching himself from his mom by being around her less than usual now because he prefers to be alone. The outro reveals Spencer's reliance on substances as a way to escape from his thoughts and feelings: “If I want advice, then I'll let you know. I’m rollin’ the dice just to see how it goes. I popped a pill now to numb it all.” This shows his hesitation in seeking advice or help from others and instead deciding to figure it all out on his own. Overall, these lyrics convey the emotional turmoil and challenges faced by Spencer struggling with his mental health. He touches upon themes of self-isolation, searching for an escape with substances and isolation, and more. It’s important to approach such topics with sensitivity and compassion, recognizing that everyone's experiences with mental health can be different. Spencer's story was very emotional and I'm sure his listeners appreciate him for being vulnerable with them, as they hope that he continues to work on himself and his mental health daily while becoming the best and healthiest version of himself.

Spencer Chamberlain is an alternative-pop singer and songwriter from North Carolina. Known as the lead singer of the metal band Underoath, he is now Slo/tide, which is his solo alternative/pop project. Slo/tide is used as an outlet for his musical inspirations and interests, where he gets to show his listeners his range as an artist and how "the other side of [his] brain works.” Because Underoath was a metal band and the music he’s been writing since he was a kid was not, he gets the chance to show what else he’s got and what else he's made of in the diverse world of music. “It Always Seemed Easier” was purposely released during this month, to highlight it being mental health awareness month. On Facebook, he states his reasoning for it being, “With May being Mental Health Awareness Month I really wanted to drop this particular track. This song is about how often I forget to check in on myself. Sometimes my mental health sneaks up on me in a way I can’t control and I just need to take a second for myself and really see if I’m ok.” Check out slo/tide’s latest single, “It Always Seemed Easier” out now on all streaming platforms!

Written By Sneet Efrem



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