WHILE SHE SLEEPS have released the latest single from their forthcoming fifth opus ‘SLEEPS SOCIETY’. This new taster of what’s to come is a track called ‘NERVOUS’ which features Simon Neil from Biffy Clyro on guest vocals. It’s a snapshot of fragility, exploring struggles with mental health, in particular drawing upon guitarist Sean Long’s own experiences with anxiety. Ultimately though, it’s a song he hopes that people will draw strength from when they’re struggling:
“The song ‘NERVOUS’ is one the band has been talking about ever since its first demo. It’s completely infected us since the start and we all knew instantly that something really special had happened. I would go so far as to say it’s the single most important song I’ve ever written in my life. It’s born from experiencing the pain and suffering generated by acute anxiety but also finding a way out from that, which whilst in such a dark and terrifying place felt like the biggest pipe dream imaginable. I felt like if I didn’t write this song then someone else would have. It feels like it needed to be manifested into this world ASAP. I truly believe it’s going to resonate with people on an extremely personal, deep and meaningful level because I feel like it came from a place beyond what we may call ourselves and I feel the song is much bigger than our band.
I’d like ‘NERVOUS’ to be viewed as more of a spiritual request rather than just a song to enjoy. I’m talking about a particular emotion in this song but the idea is transferable to any negative or troublesome feeling. It’s about accepting your emotions, fears, pains, anxiety, depression – not only accepting them but owning them and becoming one with them completely. It’s about being proud of all our emotions. The song is literally telling you to BE nervous, be scared and be in pain. By this I mean a lot of our pain comes from the idea that there’s me on the one hand and the pain on the other. So when the pain arrives this “me” is somehow trying to get away from said pain. When we really think this through with clarity we inevitably see its a futile endeavour. The moment we realise this, we can stop fighting and running away and we can begin the healing process by feeling the emotions as if we wanted them to be there in the first place. Once you stop fighting and pushing the feelings away, you realise that most of, if not all of, the pain was caused by this attempt to split ourselves in two. Most of the pain was caused by the fear of the pain itself and the attempt to get away from it. It can actually be a good thing to feel these emotions fully and experience that journey of acceptance. If we just sit a little longer with the pain, fully go into the dark, feeling it with every cell of our being, there is a chance of something miraculous to occur for the individual. What do you have to lose? This is what ‘NERVOUS’ is about.”
Simon Neil, whose guest vocals add another layer to the track, says: “I’ve been a big fan of what WSS do, and how they do it, for a long time. When Mat and the boys approached me to be a part of their new record it was a no-brainer and Nervous is a towering statement of intent for their new era. The way WSS have chosen to promote and release this album, and the new model they are creating, excites me for the future and I am delighted to be a part of it.”
‘SLEEPS SOCIETY’ is set for release 16 April via Sleeps Brothers / Spinefarm Records. It is a true manifestation of While She Sleeps’ extremely close relationship with their fans. Members of the band’s new Sleeps Society subscription service gain access to exclusive perks and received an insight, and even input, into the recording process of the album. Sean explains how some of this process worked: “We did a collection of livestreams from the studio where members could talk to us whilst we were in the development stages of different sections, giving their input & vibes whilst different sections were coming to life. We also recorded a track completely live where members could watch the process throughout – this will be really cool as when the record is released and those fans hear the song they will have that feeling of ‘I was there when this happened’ and feel intrinsically connected to the piece. On ‘CALL OF THE VOID’ we had members send in recordings of them singing a section & the song features over 200 Sleeps Society Members singing together. It came out so cool and it feels so special to have involved the people who make this all possible in the music itself and actually include them in a song on the record.”
While She Sleeps set out the intent of the Sleeps Society in their cinematic music video for the album’s title track at the end of 2020. As the band so eloquently stated with their 2017 Top Ten album ‘You Are We’, the fans have made, and continue to make, the band the force they are today. While She Sleeps hit a career milestone just over a year ago, selling out their headline show at London’s iconic Brixton Academy at the end of the live cycle for their crucial 2019 album ‘SO WHAT?’ They are set to take ‘SLEEPS SOCIETY’ on the road with a headline tour that’s already almost completely sold out.
MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES:
Promotes the views and needs of people with mental health problems.
Phone: 0300 123 3393 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm)
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24/7 stress support for men by text, chat and email.
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Phone: 116 123 (free 24-hour helpline)
Emotional support, information and guidance for people affected by mental illness, their families and carers.
Textcare: comfort and care via text message, sent when the person needs it most: www.sane.org.uk/textcare
Peer support forum: www.sane.org.uk/supportforum