'What Goes Up' + Ram Dass 

The next piece from 'Human' is 'What Goes Up' 

I don't like choosing favorites, but this song is particularly dear to me as it includes a portion of a talk by Ram Dass - spiritual teacher, psychologist and author. 

During the lockdown I was listening to a lot of Portishead, Tricky and others in the vein of trip-hop. It was around this time that I realized the absolute magic of rhythm. - Sure I've always found rhythm to be important, but this was a moment  where I began to groove with sound, exploring dance and understanding on a deeper level the tribalism of beats that awakens something inside the body that you can't quite explain. While simultaneously reawakening my fascination with synthesizers and electronic sounds. 

When I was 14 I was introduced to Fruityloops, a digital audio workstation I downloaded to the family computer - This was my first, lets say, escape, or rather, envelopment into music. 

The lockdown took me (and so many others) off the stage and thrust me back into computer composition - Where I spent countless hours learning more about how to record, mix and expand my "traditional" methods of finding sound. 

The entirety of 'Human' began, at one point, as a project first in Ableton Live - and evolved with my band and over the course of recording, into what you hear in the singles today. 

My introduction to Ram Dass: 

I grew up in many spiritual environments - always surrounded by discussions on topics such as the meaning of life, life after death, dissecting ideas of other religions, philosophy, how the mind works and so on. I was challenged at a very young age to constantly question my surroundings and inner world. Something I'm so grateful for as it only helped to expand my intense curiosities into adulthood about this human experience we are all in. 

I began my own independent investigation at 17 when I left home to hitch-hike around western United States, which I did on and off over the following three years. Along the way I met lots of people with many different backgrounds, beliefs, directions and struggles but there always seemed to be a common thread among them all. A sense of outcastedness. In which, a lot of us dealt with, through drug or alcohol abuse. There was a lot of internal suffering that was visible. 

It brought up the question for me... “Is something wrong with us? Or is something wrong with the way we've evolved as a civilisation to deal with pain?" 

I came across and explored many ideas along the way, mainly those dealing with spiritualism, to try to make sense of the condition I was in, and what I observed in the world around me. 

One of which being a philosophy that came along with a book titled "Be Here Now" by a psychologist and Harvard professor turned spiritual teacher by the name of Ram Dass. 

Now, the word Guru had always left me rolling my eyes. At that point the term seemed to be too often thrown around by "be one with everything, sister" hippies - who recited impersonal wisdoms that sounded as though they were reading off the thumbnails from a “woke quotes” google search, while staring compassionately into your eyes. It lacked authenticity. Substance. A real story of a real human life, which in the small experience I’d had, always seemed to contain, on some level, suffering. 

But in this book - Ram Dass particularly caught my attention in the sea of “wokness” because he was the first one I'd come across offering a real story. Stories about suffering and difficulty, something raw and relatable  - and the possibility of a new perspective. 

For years to come I would encounter the ideas of Ram Dass, but it wasn't until I fell into another round of deep suffering myself during the lockdown that his philosophies / teachings resurfaced in my life and I was at the right place in my journey for his words to hit home more than they ever had before. 

I began taking a deeper look inward. (it was a pretty good time to do so) and his presence, among others, greatly influenced how I processed my inner world, the world around me and ultimately influenced the art I make. 

'What Goes Up' is an experience of suffering in which one becomes just broken enough that the light is able to shine through. 

Thank you for being here. 

I'm sending you all love wherever you're at today. 


The talk by Ram Dass was provided by Love Serve Remember Foundation - the incredible humans serving to keep these teachings alive. 

You can explore his teachings at: http://www.ramdass.org 

Or listen to the talk that is used in the song: https://youtu.be/Esmc-Q009Kw

Currents + Notes From The Road 

Hello dear friends, 

Day 4: Notes from the road - Anneke Van Giersbergen Solo Support Tour + news: 


I’m writing to you from the road, as I sit near a large window in the hotel restaurant, coffee with oat milk, my journal and reflections of the beautiful show last night in an old church in the center of Wrocław. This is my fourth day on my first totally solo tour. Just me, my guitar, some candles, and my car. No band, No stage hand, no sound guy. And, I’ll consider doing this more often. It’s  rare to take trips alone weather a tour or any “get away.” Be alone in a hotel room. Hours alone in the car with your thoughts and observing life around with with a little more attention. 


And while I have a little more time to reflect. I want to express to you how incredible it is to be able to come together in our common human experience through the expression of music. 


I’m feeling extremely grateful today that I have such an opportunity to share this experience with you. When I’m on stage looking at all the faces Ive never seen, I still recognize you. As a soul. Just like me. Going through this experience with no guidebook and no ability to know what lie ahead. It’s pure chance that, over the millions of years since humans began evolving that we are all here together at this exact moment. How incredible?! 


If not for each other, what is this all for? 

These are all points of observation I’ve poured into ‘Human’ 


And I’m happy to tell you that the 3rd single will be yours tomorrow. 




This recording is very special to me and a little different in quality from others on the record. 


This song is just me and my guitar. And if you’ve ever done any recording you know, so much emotion gets lost when you record part’s separately. Which is the most common way to record in studio: guitar first and vocals on top. Most of what I write is about emotion in the moment, and connected with the movement of my body as I play the guitar. It’s one machine and can’t be broken. 


I tried many times to record it in the studio in various ways. But if I’ve learned anything over the years. It’s that - I HATE the studio. (Sorry producer friends.) an on this record I ended up recording a lot of vocals in my home studio. Alone. With my thoughts. Experimenting without worry about judgements or most importantly time. 


Each try was completely missing that… thing. That spirit. That authenticity. 


After a year of pandemic and banging my head against the wall in my emotional state and hyper-fixating on the creation of the album to an unhealthy degree. I stopped everything and went to Peru for an Ayahuasca journey. I was there a month. And in that time I didn’t play. I didn’t sing. I didn’t access social media, barely. It was like a detox. A scrubbing of the soul. Painful. And so deeply important. 


I returned to Poland in an extremely vulnerable state. (If you feel the pull to have such a journey, be sure to also plan and equal amount of decompression / reintegration time.) I returned straight to work and even played a concert in Puławy days after my return. Needless to say it was a completely dissociative experience. My foundation of who I thought I was has crumbled. And I’m very unsure of where to stand, not to mention connect with the music I’ve been making. 


It was a terrible concert. (For me) 


In an attempt to reconnect to my music thst I feel I needed to rebuild a healthy relationship with, I set up my zoom recorder in my large roomy living room. Stood  in the center of this room, guitar on my shoulders and hit record. After so long of not playing, in thst moment I felt every word and every swimming sound, I reconnected with that itness that I had out there in the first place. 


I got it. 

No need to re-record. 

This is my take. My moment of being absolutely dissolved in music. The place I feel the most at home. 


If you’ve made it this far in my “note” to you. 

Thank you. 


Tomorrow you will be able to hear the result of this deep experience. 


Thank you for listening, thank you for reading and thank you for never stopping the internal exploration of self.







Convergir na Música Interview With Luís Barreira 

Luis contacted me after the release of 'Old Boy'. We chatted a bit about inspirations and musical interests - and he has since been a wonderful supporter of my art. He got in touch with me not long ago and asked me to take part in a Portuguese publication 'Convergir na Música' releasing its 50th edition. (yes, inspired by the band)

I had a lot of fun answering his carefully selected questions (I tend to get a bit wordy with my writing) which he welcomed and diligently translated into Portuguese, which I think is worth sharing with you here. 

Below you can find the original English version: 
Thank you for reading, 
And thank you Luis for your continued support and for having me. 


- ‘Old Boy’, in which a photo of your father is used in the artwork, is a beautiful tribute and a wonderful record. Take me on the creative process and emotional toll to write and record such a powerful record. 

Firstly, thank you. I’m currently working on my 3rd studio album - and Old Boy, out of them all, came together so quickly in comparison. I knew exactly what I needed to say and express visually and musically, without too many hiccups. Within a year and a half, the album was born and completed. 

Unfortunately, it’s not a happy story, but it’s one of the most important ones I had been through at that moment. It changed the entire trajectory of my life and continues to do so. 

In 2017 my father committed suicide. He was an amazingly intelligent, spiritual, determined, and creative thinker and historian. He had a fuel and intensity like I’ve never seen before or since. 

Unfortunately, like a lot of deep thinkers, he was tormented by the inner workings of his own mind, which he desperately tried to self-medicate through alcohol. Despite the trauma of being raised by such a person, naturally, I am very much like him and therefore have a deep understanding of the struggle. Not to mention he played such an important role in inspiring my own pursuit of the understanding of consciousness and questioning the bigger picture. But most importantly this unorthodox childhood gave me the wisdom to be aware that all experiences are teachings if we are ready to listen. 

Even though I knew this day would come, when it did I was completely unprepared for the depth of that suffering. 

After he passed I was instantaneously fuelled with determination to begin breaking the chains that have been binding my family for generations. It began with reassessing the relationships I had with the world around me and then a whole lot of drinking. Sloppy grieving alone drinking. 

Perhaps I needed to know how far the rabbit hole really goes to begin understanding where I don’t want to be. And when I began to see it’s depth I knew I can’t go any further. I woke up to the realization that I have two options. 1. Let the same darkness consume me as well or 2. Begin to tell this story. 

Crying into my second bottle of wine in the bathtub at 2am, I knew my excuses of ‘me time’ no longer cut it and began to think about what it would feel like to tell someone what I was really going through. How much shame and sadness had ruled my and my families life for so many years, (and later learned, generations) and as I began to think, I realized i’m not alone. If I could begin to tell his story through my pain, which ultimately began it’s journey of expressing my own. It evolved into realizing that it’s a universal story of suffering. Perhaps if we could come together in our suffering it would ultimately making it less powerwful in ruling over our lives. 

Step 1: The creative process - continue drinking as much as I can meanwhile convincing myself I should probably quit and that truth and togetherness really is the answer, all the while writing in process. 

I’m 3 years alcohol free this year and have met many people along the way after the release of Old Boy who told me they found bravery in my story that helped them begin to share their own stories of suffering. It has done exactly as I had intended it to. Bring us together - in turn bringing us further from our aloneness. That place where we think “I’m so bad, they’d never understand” 

I understand. 

- Your journey is rather interesting, moving from Colorado to Poland. Was it a purely professional-driven decision? And how’s life in Europe so far? 

Over the years i’ve had time to think about this question as i’ve been asked it a lot. And the more esoteric answer would be that I needed to remove all I knew of who I thought I was in order to heal the past and learn who I truly am. Go to a place where I know nothing, No language or culture to hide behind or hold onto. The problem with this is that, when you have no idea who you are you become a bit of a camelon. 

I immediately found things I was attracted to and wanted to emulate it. To hide, to be accepted, liked. I was looking externally to “find myself” meanwhile trying so hard to escape the real internal self I was too afraid to look at. 

I wasn’t aware of what I was doing of course, which makes reflecting on the journey so powierful. - 

So, The Simplified answer is: I was 23, I wanted to play music and see the world! - It seemed that no matter where I went I was constantly unhappy, never quite felt I belonged - always like a guest and if i’m not happy here than surely i’ll be happy there! And was willing to accept any opportunity that came my way. It just so happened Poland was the first one that presented itself. 

Life in Europe has been great! And challenging. I’ll say, for more reasons than just professionally and materially it’s one of the most important decisions i’ve ever made. 

- Our Voice/Nasz Glos is a beautiful and empowering track. How was it to work with Anita Lipnicka? 
I’ve tried to start a few collaborations over the years and i’ve learned that I need a really motivated, open-minded, flexible and passionate co-collaborater as I have a hard time with motivation and moving things forward, as my interests come and go quickly and I need to capture things in the moment. 

I had a vision without hesitation and so did Anita - and our visions meshed together flawlessly. It was such an effortless and passionate collaboration and we had so many nice people working on the project that it really made me feel like I was part of a team and doing something really important. 

The amazing thing about it all was we did the whole thing over the internet. We never met until the song was already finished and we began recording the video. We just felt the pull and put absolute trust in eachother without ever having previously worked together which was really magical. 

- For those unaware of your music, as I’ve told you before, it has that Chelsea Wolfe & Emma Ruth Rundle vibe and feel, and that southern gothic feel like Marissa Nadler or Emily Jane White. Do you believe it’s the style that fits you most? 

My musical interests are all over the board from psytrance to hip hop, classic country / americana, electronic, eastern spiritual, industrial, metal, pop, for a few- I think there was a time that I did try to work my music into a particular genre - or get more technical, add more flare but I get bored really easily and if i can’t flow then I lose the emotion which is the foundation of my music. 

Not thinking too much about how i’d like the song to be and just writing what feels good works best for me. And comfortable usually consists of just a couple cords, sometimes even two and an easy guitar rhythm and most importantly vocal melody. I think this raw simplicity is generally the foundation of  musical story telling - and I think all the artists you mentioned have a human story to tell and have found that authenticity in their craft - which happens to also carry notes of good old honest folk music. 

- Breaking out as an artist is traditionally hard and requires an excruciating amount of work and dedication. Do you feel, by this worth, your journey is guiding you to where you’d desire? 

You hit the nail on the head with “excruciating”. I’ve been solely an independent artist over the 6ish years of professional performing. And boy i’ll tell you it’s tiring. But as Gillian Welch says “They figured it out, we’re gonna do it anyway, even if it doesn’t pay.” 

There is a particular drive - a home I can reside and drift away in that I know will always be there for me as an outlet to process and transform what I observe and experience. That keeps me keeping on despite the ups and downs i’ve had throughout my career. Music has taught me so much and taken me through some amazing experiences and weather I feel i’m ‘successful’ or not at it i’ll just keep doing it. As long as I remember to take a break from time to time, not take it all so seriously and to have fun. They don’t call it “Playing music” for nothing. 

- Your live performances are as good as the studio versions, if not better. What are the main differences between recording in the studio and performing live? 

I think another point to add here would be, “and what’s the main difference between studio and demo versions?” (peprhapps i’ll release some someday) I hate the studio. really. All the people, and the pressure and never enough time. It’s very hard for me to tap into that authenticity when I know I have today to get THAT take. It’s very stressful and I believe it takes a lot away from what i’m actually wanting to express in the song - I’m a pretty tough critic of my own music (Reminder: don’t take it so seriously, Play music etc.) 

The magic for me happens when i’m sitting in my home studio, and have all the time I need to tap in and feel the music. However, Recapturing that ‘Magic’ in the studio has always been a great struggle of mine. With every record i’m learning more about what what works for me and what doesn’t - and that I don’t have to do it like everyone else, I need to figure out what works best for me. I’d like to record and produce some of my own records someday - even if it’s just one mic in my kitchen. I’m learning that the emotion behind the song is far more important to me than the audio quality of the song itself. 

Public performance has always been difficult for me, but I have the energy of the peopple who came to be with me in the music who are just as involved as I am - which helps create a supportive atmosphere that is far more energetic than the studio. There’s always a lot of love between us all that is cultivated live, that just can’t be replicated in a studio. 

- Any plans for a Portugal gig in the near future? What memories do you hold from the country? 

That one time I went to lisbon and missed the Dead Combo concert because the venue was only selling tickets in person, and when we we arrived in the country it was sold out. I was gutted. But I ended up with food poisoning that night and wouldn’t have been able to go anway. 

Portugal, the very little i’ve seen of it is a very beautiful country, so beautiful infact that despite being there in January, getting sick and missing the concert of one of my favorite bands (RIP) I began dreaming of living there and I think the thing that struck me the most was Fado. 

The first time I heard Carminho sing ‘Escrevi Teu Nome No Vento’ I was so moved by how she sings with every cell of emotion in her being. And when I heard her describe the song’s meaning, it’s such an incredible piece of poetry to describe painful heartbreak, something we all know so well. This alchemy, transforming suffering into something beautiful is what I also strive for in my music. 

I’ve never played in Portugal and currently don’t have any plans, but with the deep attention to suffering I hear in Fado, and pastéis de nata, I think we could become good friends.

My Top 5 Albums (And What They Have Taught Me) 

Soundrive asked me to do the hardest thing I've done all quarantine - choose ONLY five album from my collection and describe why they are important to me. Find the polish article here: 5 PŁYT

1. Chelsea Wolfe - Unknown Rooms 

This album really changed my life. In my very early teens I was listening to The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Nirvana, Evanescence, Cradle of Filth, The Distillers, 
Loreena Mckennit, Joan Baez - a couple of which, my punk friends at the time would definitely make fun of me for. 
When I discovered Chelsea Wolfe in 2014 I was, at that time, just starting to perform at open mics and writing acoustic singer-songwriter material. In The first song of Unknown Rooms I heard all those genres came flooding together. I was immediately breathtaken and in love, like she understood everything that I'd been searching for in music and put it together in one. This holds true far and beyond this one album when it comes to Chelsea Wolfe. I’m completely in love with what she creates. Her music takes you on a journey without borders. 

With CW I’ve learned it’s ok (contradicting those punk friends) to appreciate such a wide variety of music and intertwine that in what you created. 

I’ve had the opportunity to see CW live 5 times - I was on my way to see her latest material in berlin when COVID-19 hit and it was canceled. 

2. Timber Timbre - Creep on Creepin’ On 
I’ve tried hard to remember when I discovered TT. I’d like to personally thank whoever introduced me to them. For the life of me I can’t remember but damn am I grateful for it. I drive an old car and this is the time when I get to listen to my CD’s - This album about every 5th in the rotation. Timber Timbre is an incredibly eclectic group that masters melodies, intertwining genres, story-telling, gives me goosebumps every time and keeps me curious without being too pretentious in all their spooky glory. All of their albums I can listen to on repeat. 

TT has taught me to really listen. These songs are deep with so many layers of texture, twists and turns. With every listen I hear something new. 

I had the opportunity to see them perform at Proxima in Warsaw in 2016. I didn’t know I had it in my to turn into a babbling blushing teenage girl when meeting them. But I did. 

3. 16 Horsepower - Live March 2001 
MP3s, does it count? I had to add this Colorado band to the list as it is another that has changed my life and the way I perceive, write and hear music. I am a Colorado girl and I have always loved heavy, dark, melodic music but I grew up surrounded by folk and bluegrass and you just can’t quite escape that. It lives in your blood when you grow up in the mountains. 

16 Horsepower showed me that you don’t have to try and escape it. You can use it to your benefit by ramming those two worlds head on into each other and creating something so much more honest and powerful. 

4. Joan Baez - Live Europe 83 
The voice of an angle. Pure nostalgia and strength is the music of Joan Baez. As a female singer-songwriter I am greatly inspired by the ladies of the 60’s and 70’s who paved the way for us today. They say the music industry is a man's world - imagine what it was like back then. Regardless of any trials or discriminations Joan Baez stood strong and honest taming and captivating her audience which can be clearly heard in this album of her live performance in France 1983. 

Her music reminds me that ladies can seriously dominate even with an acoustic guitar. 

5. Ewa Demarczyk - Live 
When I listen to an album, I look at it as a whole piece - rather than one song after another. I want to hear the story. Ewa Demarczyk to my surprise, plunged into my soul and captivated me with her unexpected, theatrical, multilingual story. I am often asked who my favorite polish artists are and Ewa has become my polsih black angel. Her music from this era and today is not like anything i have ever heard. 

Listening to her reminds me to write without structure. 

Runners Up: 

Sharon Van Etten - Remind Me Tomorrow / Are We There / Tramp 
Inspires me to be more lyrically honest. 

Dead Combo - Odeon Hotel / I know, I Alone 
Inspires me to explore fado and continue to blend genres and explore poetry 

Portishead - Dummy 
Teaches me to listen and experiment with what I might not expect. 

The Rocky Horror Picture Show Soundtrack 
Just the best musical ever - I can’t count how many times I've danced and sang to this one. 
Always reminds me to stay weird and keeps me connected to my child self.

Soundrive article in Polish here: 5 PŁYT