What is Greenhouse Blues?
The name "Greenhouse Blues" was something I actually took from a pinterest board I had made filled with pictures of greenhouses and plants (I'm a bit of a pinterest nut), but over time, it became something more. It became something of a metaphor for how I felt in my life as a musician. Feeling stuck in my conception, like no matter how much I wanted to be a towering tree I just couldn't seem to grow above a sapling fast enough. Within my first few years of committing to music, I'd written more songs than I knew what to do with. Over time those songs transformed into these fantastical concept albums. I literally have a corkboard hidden behind my bed with all the songs I've written, sorted into half a dozen albums, all of which I have already named. Music videos have been storyboarded, cover art designed in scribbles in various notebooks. But in real life, I'm just a local muso who had to scrape everything together just to record a tiny EP with no experience. I'm stuck in a nursery with a whole empire in my head that I will have to wait years to create in the real world because I'm simply in the beginning phase of my life as a musician, and my life as a whole. It's these Greenhouse Blues, the saddness that comes with being an amateur, with not being as far along as you wish you were, with the slow pace of growing. I know that anything worth my time takes time, and building myself up from nothing is going to be a beautiful thing. I'm just suffering from Greenhouse Blues.
1. Butterfly Milk
2. Too Good
4. Galaxy Child
I've created this record in such a way that the songs are less four tracks on an album, and more explaining the "four stages of Greenhouse Blues".
Stage 1: In order to plant yourself in the Greenhouse in which you wish to thrive, you must first uproot yourself from whatever undesirable patch of dirt you're currently in. And this is an action that even though yields nothing but good things for you, you still have to mourn the loss of the patch of dirt that was once your home. You're going where you want to go, but you're still sad about having to let go.
About the song
Butterfly Milk is a metaphor I put together to describe a bitter-sweet feeling that was always hard for me to place. Its when you have to let go of something that isn't necessarily that great, in order to get something amazing, and the emotion that comes with that. There is a sadness that comes with change, and with letting go. Even if that thing you're letting go of wasn't worth hanging on to.
I combined two proverbs that together articulate this feeling for me. The idea of a caterpillar needing to cease existing in order for the butterfly to emerge, and the ever famous "don't cry over spilt milk", the phrase often put to you when someone thinks that what you're upset over isn't worth you being so; people often don't understand or sympathise with your pain of letting go when they see that you're ending up with something better. "Why are you crying when you're getting the thing that you actually want?" Because change is hard, even when that change is necessary, even when that change is good. At least, I find it to be.
Stage 2: You are in your new home, and you are overcome with feelings of inadequacy. Are you good enough to be growing here? Do you deserve to be here? I think its a feeling that follows us every time we move up in the world. Feeling like we aren't good enough for the Greenhouse we've found ourselves in.
About the song
Too Good is a hopeless love song at its core. A final declaration of affection before I submit to the fact that I've screwed this relationship up for good. See, there was a boy I really loved, and he was pure at heart. But I'm far from that. In all honesty, I have quite the affinity for destruction. I wish I could say that chaos follows me, but I think I have a hand in creating it - something that leads me into many situations like the very one this song is about.
But I'm always hopeful. I've always got that "maybe one day" singing in the back of my head. And I'm always trying to improve on my character, not just to be good enough for others but to be good enough for myself.
Stage 3: You acknowledge those voices in your head telling you you're not up to scratch, and you decide to do something about it. And what do you do? You work your ass off to prove those voices wrong, to prove everyone wrong. The pain of inadequacy drives you, and it drives you to the top.
About the song
In 2016, when I first picked up a guitar with the intention to teach myself how to play, I wrote 3 songs within the next week. Numbness was one of those songs.
It talks about an internal struggle I used to have with myself. Coming from tough beginnings internally, I believed I had been made a cold and unloving person from what I had gone through, and consequently I saw myself as a bad human being with an empty soul. But instead of giving in to the belief that I was rotten, therefore acting rotten and socialising with rotten people, I did all that I could to make up for the person I believed I was. I always wanted nothing more than to do good, and I would refuse to do anything less simply because I've got some demons.
You are not your tough beginnings. You are not your past. You are not your struggles. You are how you choose to be. What you have been through does not have to be kind. All that matters is that you are.
Stage 4: You are good enough and you know it now. He past experiences that drowned you was the water that fed you. You're grown now, with your chin up, looking straight for the sky, with the stars reflected in your eyes. You've grown so much.
About the song
I originally wrote this song for friend of mine that I simply adored. And though our friendship has faded, the relationship that filled me with such wonder still remains, and its a relationship I have found within many other wonderful women since. What started out as a friendly gesture has become my way to articulate the loving bonds that I've had the ability create between strong people.
Galaxy Child is a metaphor for seeing the beauty in pain. Though I speak of me and my friend having gone through different traumas, this only leads us to see what we have in common, bringing us together. We're both fighting, even if it isnt the same battle.
Most of the song is made up of intergalactic imagery to represent symptoms or facets of mental illness. A universe is a big gaping hole that's terrifying and hard to comprehend and inexplainable and surreal and endless in depth... and thats how I would describe how I see mental illness.
It's not about romantisizing mental illness. Its about championing the women who have survived their mental illness. The women who are starry eyed to me.