“Swell (My Brother)” is a song that breaks our hearts to sing, and that broke our heart to write.
Over the course of creating Echoes, our new album, two of our childhood friends died by suicide.
Before the current pandemic, Nunavut has been struggling with a pandemic of its own.
Losing family and friends to suicide this way is not new for the band – or anyone who has spent any time in Nunavut. But this song came out of the anger, sorrow, and frustration of this experience. Even as we grow up, we never seem to outgrow these feelings.
At this point, we could offer statistics that would bring tears to your eyes. We will not do that. To us, these statistics are so much more than that. They are our friends, our family members, and our community members.
The lyrics on Echoes are an exploration of the wide range of feelings that come from experiences of suicide – loss, grief, moments of joy and strength, along with moments of darkness and terrifying powerlessness.
“Swell (My Brother)” expresses a deep seeded frustration. Frustration from ongoing inaction by the powers that be to appropriately address these issues. Frustration from touring for years and repeatedly talking about these issues, but never really seeing any movement.
But in the end, “Swell (My Brother)” is a song between a few friends who grew up and laughed, loved and cried, fought occasionally, and created life long memories with each other.
No words can ever really encompass how this issue impacts any of us.