I always love it when I hear a song that almost sounds like it was based on my own feelings and experiences. I often have a hard time putting those things into words, and occasionally a song seems to do it better than I ever could. Such was the case when I first heard the song “Lay Low Shadow,” by Shawna Caspi.
The song details Shawna Caspi’s struggle with anxiety, as it comes and goes throughout her life, and even when things seem to be going well, it lurks and lies in wait for its next opportunity to take over. It’s a powerful piece of writing that really grabbed my attention immediately.
You can read the lyrics (and buy the song/album) HERE
It’s a brave song that can only come from someone who’s lived through a long struggle with anxiety.
In spite of it, Shawna Caspi has built a successful career that includes four previous album releases and one upcoming album, Hurricane Coming, which is where you’ll find that song. She’s toured relentlessly, primarily in Eastern Canada and the United States.
Her biography describes her as, “a singer, a poet, a painter, a fingerstyle guitar player,” and explains:
After touring her last album relentlessly, Shawna took a break to rest, reflect, and focus on songwriting. It was in those moments of stillness and solitude that she confronted her own experience of burnout, anxiety, and struggle with self-worth. In working through the shadowy parts of herself, Shawna discovered more ways to practice gratitude and appreciate little victories. This process of slowing down and looking inward resulted in her most raw, honest, and personal writing.
She strives to tell the truth, even when it’s uncomfortable, to empower listeners to come to terms with the parts of themselves and the world that they might find scary, and to look for hope in the dark.
Shawna’s album comes out on August 27, but you can preorder the CD or the postcards with her beautiful artwork at shawnacaspi.com or through Bandcamp.
Again, I’ve got a little left over from my chat with Shawna that I’ll share on the July 18 episode of my other show, Tell the Band to Go Home. Check that out at tellthebandtogohome.com
Anxiety, like other mental illnesses, can be scary and isolating. These illnesses can be severely detrimental to a person’s wellbeing and quality of life, and can even be deadly. Luckily, there are a lot of treatments available, so these illnesses are manageable and you can make life a lot better by getting help. I always recommend starting with a visit to a doctor, but if your doctor isn’t being as helpful as you’d like or just gives you that list of strangers that you could call, find another doctor or reach out to an organization like The Canadian Mental Health Association (cmha.ca) or here in Manitoba we have a great organization called Anxiety Disorders Association of Manitoba (adam.mb.ca) but there are similar organizations in most areas.
“Never Enough” is from the album Forest Fire. It can be ordered from shawnacaspi.com or Bandcamp
“Lay Low Shadow” is from the album Hurricane Coming. It can be ordered from shawnacaspi.com or Bandcamp
“One More Chance” is a single that can be purchased through Bandcamp