Season Of The Senses come back from the edge better than Ever in their new single and lyric video — showcasing today on Tinnitist.
At first listen, Ever — the opening track to the Guelph band’s debut EP Dream Sequence — is an upbeat, positive bullet of an alt-tinged pop song. But its genesis lies in a deeper, more personal experience. When songwriter Damian Weston was 17, he was in university and alone for the first time. Struggling with crippling anxiety and depression, that began to teeter towards thoughts of suicide and self-harm, he dropped out.
“Things went from bad to worse as the depression and childhood traumas began to catch up with me, and as so many people do I found a relief in self-medication through drugs,” he says. “To know me was to think I was probably the least likely to fall into that trap, but that’s the thing with trauma: We tend to carry it alone, a dark and destructive friend we keep to ourselves.”
Never one to take the easy route, Weston knew his path was grim. But he wanted something better. “I checked myself into rehab. And not just any rehab; a therapeutic community, a rehab considered the last stop for addicts because of its difficulty. There were no personal chefs, no spa days, but there was a farm and hard work — both physical and emotional. It was a two-year program, with almost no contact with the outside world. But it saved — and fundamentally changed — my life.”
The chorus of Ever was written in that rehab. No instruments available, nothing but a scribbled notation and lyrics that Damian has to this day. “The thing with songs that come from trauma, addiction, depression, is that they are often an expression of pain,” Weston says. “And I have felt that pain, and that often informs my songwriting. But with Ever I wanted to express something else: Joy and hope — which is often much harder.
“What can be said about addiction that hasn’t already been said? But I have not often heard a song that reflects the true joy and victory of successfully overcoming an obstacle that was, quite literally, set in your path to destroy you. And one of the fundamental things I learned was that victory is not a solitary one. We need to carry others and be carried ourselves, and that is what Ever is about: The solidarity necessary in struggle, whether it is a personal struggle or a greater struggle for social justice. It is the duty of the strong, the privileged, to carry the weak, the hurt, the ones overlooked and left behind — until they are ready to carry others”
Weston avoided recording Ever for years because he “just didn’t want to mess it up!” It was only after forming Season Of The Senses with Elena Stocco (vocals), Christian Pritchard (guitars, bass, synth), Rob Clarkson (bass, guitars, synth) and Maxwell He (drums) that “it truly became what it was meant to. The sentiment filtered through Elena’s soulful voice, Christian’s crushing guitars, Rob and Max propelling it forward — it just proved the point of the song: Alone we struggle, but there is power and strength in community and togetherness. That’s what gives us hope, and that’s what takes us home.”