OK Button get to the heart of mental health issues on emotive new single ‘Flesh & Blood’.
Dream-pop trio OK Button had a dreamy 2018, releasing a couple of breathtaking singles – ‘The Message’ and ‘Beds’ – and rightly garnering a heap of praise. 2019 is looking even better with the release of their stunning new single ‘Flesh & Blood’ (out now).
OK Button’s dark spin on synth-pop was born following a chance meeting in a Scottish-based underground music venue. Amber Wilson (vocalist with Bombay Bicycle Club and Morcheeba) and Adam Falkner (drummer for One Eskimo and Babyshambles) met when Amber was performing an acoustic set in her native Aberdeen. After forming a friendship that led to them sharing song ideas over email they teamed up with multi-instrumentalist Nass Donald and writer/producer Craigie Dodds (Amy Winehouse, Gorillaz, Sugababes).
It’s appropriate that I first heard ‘Flesh & Blood’ on Blue Monday – the third Monday in January, which is often cited as the most depressing day of the year. Although, as I’m sure anyone who has to deal with mental illness will testify, depression and anxiety can strike at any time. The track, as Nass explains, “carries two threads of narrative around the effects of depression on both sufferers and those close to them. It’s a story of loss and isolation, about losing your sense of self and gradually drifting further from those you love. The song was written during a studio session in Wandsworth, providing bittersweet catharsis for the band, having personally experienced the struggles of living with depression.”
I would like to point out that this track is not depressing in itself. There is something beguiling about listening to a song that is sonically beautiful that lyrically is confronting some ugly truths. Whereas previous single ‘The Message’ was a more defiant statement, this is more of an honest confession about the destructive power of mental illness.
The feelings of guilt and self-sabotage that are conjured up by the lyrics are reflected in the video, directed by BAFTA winner Tim Courtney, which you can watch below. It features members of the band being tied and tangled in string placed on them by manic looking actors who whisper in their ears. It’s a perfect representation of being tied up in knots by the voice from your own head. At the same time, this dark depiction is contrasted by the warmth of Wilson’s breathy vocals and the ambient beats.
On ‘Flesh & Blood’ OK Button bring an issue close to many hearts into our ears to stunning effect.