Through The Bridge’s recent Sound Minds day, we talked about the link between mental health and the healing power of music. We’ll continue the conversation through the artist perspective over the summer, examining the experiences and challenges faced by creatives. In the meantime, today’s Bridge premiere provides both a sense of restoration and awareness, brought to you by a KC musical mensch.
“Depression isn’t pretty for ‘You and Me,’ but it’s got a lot of lessons to learn,” said songwriter Kian Byrne. Mental health was at the forefront of Byrne’s mind when he wrote “You + Me,” a new single and accompanying video that inhabits the world of a person caught in the interminable cycle of depression.
The song masterfully invokes the spirit of Elliott Smith, pairing wistful vignettes with delightfully downtrodden pop melodies. In the video — co-directed by his sister Andreina Byrne and cinematographer John Beatty — Byrne plays the part of a man consumed by depression and its endless feedback loop of disconnection and isolation.
“The cycle can control life like a cocoon, especially if a person isn’t open to connecting to others,” Byrne said. “And without that connection, a person can be hidden away from themselves and everyone around them, burrowing away from life.”
With some well-placed imagery and Ben Lee’s eye-catching animation, Byrne’s character finds himself surrounded by the all-too-familiar trappings of depression — from the self-sabotaging stories we tell ourselves to the obstacles of navigating everyday life and relationships.
We won’t spoil the video for you, but resolution comes, best explained by the message Byrne communicates through the song: “Depression affects YOU + ME — you just have to admit it in order to survive it.”
This Saturday, June 19, you can catch a live performance from Kian Byrne at the Raj Ma Hall Open Studio concert series. More information and tickets are available.