Wednesday, May 5th, 2021
Premiere: Brett Newski Debuts New Single “Life Underwater”
It’s Hard to Be a Person Out June 22
May 05, 2021
By Caleb Campbell
Photography by Cortney Armitage
Alternative songwriter, illustrator, and podcaster Brett Newski is breaking into the publishing world with his upcoming first book, It’s Hard to Be a Person: defeating anxiety, surviving the world and having more fun. Inspired by Newski’s self-described “dumb drawings” making fun of his anxiety and depression, the new book collects Newski’s drawing and private reflections into somewhat of a how-to guide of “hacks”, “strategies”, and “exercises” that he’s used to combat mental illness.
As Newski explains “Humor has always been a primary mode of therapy for me. I still make fun of my own anxiety and “depresh” as catharsis. I sing about it on tour, talk about it on my podcast, and draw pictures of it here in this book. Putting my formerly-private-feelings out into the world has been tremendous therapy for me, and I wish I would’ve done it sooner.”
Accompanying the book, Newski also has an upcoming soundtrack album, It’s Hard to Be a Person, due out June 22nd. Newski has now shared the latest single from the album, “Life Underwater,” premiering with Under the Radar.
Unsurprisingly, mental health plays an outsized role in “Life Underwater,” just as it does in It’s Hard to Be a Person. A dynamic upbeat indie rock instrumental drives the song forward as Newski reflects on his mounting struggles and anxieties. But rather than despondent, the track feels triumphant, seeing Newski push forward to new horizons, singing “I’ll finally escape tonight/Won’t you meet me on the other side?” It’s the style of the book translated to music—ramshackle, self-deprecating, and even a bit neurotic, but all with an unabashed dose of hope at its core.
Newski explains, “‘Life Underwater’ puts the magnifying glass on the low moments, exposing that just like everything else, they’re only temporary. When the bottom falls out, it can feel like the end of the world. But in actuality, things fall apart for good reason…to start fresh again.” Check out the song below and pre-order the book and album here, out June 22nd.
In addition to his work as an author and musician, Newski also is a prolific podcaster, discussing mental health, touring, and creating on his podcast, Dirt From The Road. Most recently, Newski also did an episode with Matthew Caws of Nada Surf, one of his musical heroes. Check it out here.