Have you ever had one of those dreams where you’re trying to punch something or someone, and no matter how hard you try, for some reason you can never punch hard? That drives me so crazy! Disclaimer, I don’t condone violence in any way, please folks, peace.
In an attempt to bring this tangent back on point: the Nashville, Tennessee artist Betty Reed, is releasing a new single on November 4th, titled “Shallow End“. What does that have to do with the dream thing? Well okay, I’m a bit in left field with it. As you are about to read, Betty Reed is far more articulate than I at describing the feeling of helplessness. She describes the meaning of the new track as being metaphoric, regarding depression:
“When depression sets in, it’s not like I’m in the deep end of a pool struggling to not drown. It’s more like this feeling that I’m floundering in the shallow end and there is an easy way to rescue myself. I merely have to stand up. But it’s hard to do even that when your brain is malfunctioning.”Betty Reed on “The Shallow End”
Floundering not at the deep end, but at the shallow end. Held down only by the weight of one’s heavy emotions. Whoa. See? It’s kind of like the same thing I was saying except ya know, she just happens to be incredibly talented, poetic, and puts it all into a surefire hit, and alt-pop song format.
And it should be no mystery as to how she’s able to craft such amazing work, she’s a graduate of Berklee College of Music and consummate professional with lots of experience. Teamed with Nashville producer Evan Redwine this time around, “Shallow End” is to be the seventeenth release in Reed’s considerable catalog. Thirteen singles, two EPs, and a full-length album to date, to be exact. This song is similar in subject matter to a couple of her previous releases like 2020’s “Get By” (which reminds me of an acoustic Veruca Salt tune, very alternative) and 2021’s “Happy” (which I’d describe as something like Dove Cameron with a major Tom Petty twist). Her ability to connect with her audience deeply through these types of songs has become a part of her repertoire. Reed has expressed that she was on the fence about even releasing “Shallow End” because of how personal it was. However, when performing it live the connection with her audience provided such a positive response, that it convinced her otherwise.
While “Shallow End” is similar in subject matter to “Get By” and “Happy,” it also stands out to me from those two songs in terms of genre, generally speaking. It sounds more similar to her primary influences referenced in her Spotify bio like Olivia Rodrigo. The contrast is one thing I like in particular about this artist. Reed transitions from an alt-pop singer to an acoustic singer-songwriter type of performer seamlessly. She released a string of acoustic versions of songs just earlier this year.
In closing, I would also commend the artist for being upfront and honest about these type of challenges. I say that respectfully, being a person who suffers from depression and anxiety too, as well as ADHD. Not only does music help soothe the soul from our emotional ailments, but humor does too! Her Spotify bio reads: “I suffer from depression. I’m dyslexic. I spend too much money on makeup. I own a cat. I have hopes and dreams.” That made me chuckle. Something similar to what I’d write up. Cheers Betty!
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