Depression and anxiety are two illnesses we’re all unfortunately too familiar with in the 21st Century, especially over the last couple of years. There are many people out there in the world managing their own personal demons and Robert Heath is one of them. Robert is A Sea of Dead Trees and as a one-man outfit he channels his anxiety and depression through his music and has done so since 2017.
With two albums already under his belt, he’s also played in his hometown of Glasgow. Using a looper pedal, guitars and sampled drums, it makes for a convenient and portable set up. All put to good effect on this 2021 release and unusually titled album, Garmonbozia. This is certainly a dark, brooding record with a powerful and emotional assault on both your mind and body. The overall vibe reminded of the wonderful French band Les Discrets, with nods to Slowdive, The Cure and Sigur Ros.
Robert describes his illness as, ‘being at the mercy of a great unknowable and invisible terror that pervades your very mind and being’ which a lot of people reading this will relate to. I get the impression making music is therapeutic to him, which it is to many. Adding vocals has certainly added another dimension to the music and is a brave and bold move, but it doesn’t need them. Less is more sometimes. If this aural assault was a photograph, or a painting, it would only show the colours grey and black as it’s a bleak journey, but for those of us who enjoy sad, or emotive music, it is a powerful sonic assault deserving of your attention.
a dark, brooding record with a powerful and emotional assault on both your mind and body…
The title Garmonbozia is a reference to legendary and cult TV series Twin Peaks. In the programme evil spirits, who dwell in the forest, seek food in the form of the pain and sorrow of others, and that food is called Garmonbozia. Robert explains this album is his own personal Garmonbozia, his pain and sorrow laid bare and ready to be consumed in a musical form. Robert adds, ‘If only one other person can take a modicum of solace from this work and take comfort that they are not alone going through their mental struggles I will be more than pleased’.
This album has been created with serious intent and the belief that music, even sad music, can make others feel better and not alone in their suffering and what a great reason to give this release your time. A record that promotes personal reflection but can also distract you and hopefully inspire the listener to do something similar in making their own music, just like Robert.
Therefore, out of the negativity of depression comes positivity through creating your own thing. It takes energy and strength to do just that and I’m sure Robert would agree it’s worth it in the long run.
Scribed by: Tim Keppie