SelfMade is a platform that explores the unseen sides of the music industry through discussion, performance, art and zines. With a strong focus on women in music, their goal is to celebrate the work of DIY musicians and to create a supportive space to explore the realities of getting a music project or career off the ground. SelfMade is organised independently by artist, Joanna Bain, and musician/label co-founder Julie Hawk (HAVVK) in collaboration with a collective of Irish musicians.
Tomorrow, 25th May, SelfMade is hosting a Mind YourSelf: Mental Health and Music event (sponsored by IMRO) event at The Tara Building in Dublin. The two-part event will look at mental health in the Irish music scene and the challenges affecting developing musicians in their professional and personal lives. Featuring a workshop lead by psychotherapist, musician, researcher and BIMM lecturer, Aoife Ruth, in collaboration with Wyvern Lingo’s Caoimhe Barry, the event also sees an evening panel with a line-up of Irish artists, including Maria Kelly, Michael Pope (Le Galaxie) and Paddy Hanna, who have all used their creative work and social platforms to highlight career-related mental health and anxiety.
Ahead of the event tomorrow, SelfMade founders Julie and Joanna have chosen some of their favourite tracks that help them to process, wind down, blow off steam or simply kick-start a bit of self-love.
Read about their choices, and listen to the playlist below!
Joan Jett and the Black Hearts – ‘Bad Reputation’
This is reserved for when I need a true kick up the ass and a reminder that other people’s opinions can not topple my own sense of what’s right or who I am. Also a very good one for abolishing pre-gig nerves.
Scarlet – ‘Independent Love Song’
If I want to sing along at top volume in the car, this one is near the top of the list. Another old song (I still have the single on cassette at my parents’ house), but it has this incredible explosive anthemic chorus that’s a joy. It’s aged pretty well too, and every now and again it turns up in a bar or on a TV programme and it takes me right back.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs – ‘Maps’
This song reminds me to love myself. It’s such a unique love song because it’s about reminding someone of their true value and that they are truly loved by someone. And to me, it’s even more powerful because it’s coming from Karen O, who is a huge hero of mine as a performer.
The National – ‘Daughters of the Soho Riots’
That crackling, lo-fi intro, the monotone vocal; the beautiful subtlety of it. I love everything about this song. Matt Berninger writes these incredible lyrics that convey a sense of time and place and a feeling without ever saying anything overt. I’ve always loved the line “I don’t have any questions, I don’t think it’s going to rain / You were right about the end, it didn’t make a difference”. It’s a masterclass in understatement and it brings instant calm.
Jose Gonzales – ‘Crosses’
I’m a very sensitive person and I definitely get triggered by sad music, which can be great sometimes. But Veneer is one of the only albums I can actually work to or really sort out my thoughts to. There’s something about the sense of space around his voice and guitar that leaves room to think and process, rather than dwell on emotion.
Jose Gonzalez – ‘Heartbeats’
This whole album, Veneer, is an exercise in restraint – beautiful, intricate guitar playing and gorgeous melodies. If I want to wind down in the midnight hour I dim the lights, pick up a book, and set this to play in the background. This song in particular though, there’s something so tranquil but so melancholy about it; it makes me stop and breathe and just enjoy its loveliness.
Robyn – ‘Every Heartbeat’
Probably not the most uplifting Robyn track but for me, it’s my ultimate ‘blowing off steam’ anthem. There’s something about the repetition and the builds in this song that keeps me grounded. Really good for running, trying not to focus on stress or bullshit, or mustering up the mood for a night out.
Bon Iver / The Staves – ‘Heavenly Father’
There’s a video floating around the internet somewhere that features Bon Iver performing this song live – a cappella, with the Staves, at the Sydney Opera House. It is one of the most beautiful bits of music I’ve ever seen or heard, and have listened it to death. If I want to be transported, I put this on loud and just listen to the layers of harmonies and the wall of sound they produce. Incredible.
Maria Kelly – ‘Dark Places’
This song is just such a comfort. It is such a generous example of someone saying “hey, we all go through this sometimes and it’s not shameful or the end of the world”.
Radiohead – ‘Street Spirit (Fade Out)’
I was obsessed with this song and its video as a discerning 8 year old when it first came out, and it’s remained a favourite. I love that unmistakeable guitar line, and there’s something about that gradual build and release at the end of the second chorus that brings a feeling of total peace. I remember crying in a field when I heard this live for the first time over a decade a year or two ago in Lisbon – but I wasn’t the only one…!
Huge thanks to Julie and Joanna for their choices! Listen to the playlist below, and find out more about SelfMade here.