New album inspired by mental illness struggles
Although the 25-year-old said it was the worst time in her life, it taught her more about who she is as a person, and forced her to let go of some of her unrealistically high expectations for herself.
“I was on eight medications,” Tyers said. “I couldn't function for a very long time.”
It's no surprise that her newly released album, “Blue Socks,” was influenced by her struggles with mental illness.
“Some of those songs were birthed out of that very difficult time in my life,” Tyers said.
An example is “Valley,” with the lyrics “Sometimes the valley's where I need to be/Even though I sometimes can't see it/I long for freedom in your grace/I want to feel the mountaintop again.”
The album, which has an acoustic-bluegrass feel, isn't all about heavy subjects, though. Tyers said it also contains several lighthearted songs, including the title track, “Blue Socks.”
The inspiration for the song came when a friend teased her about wearing blue socks and a pink T-shirt out to an awards ceremony.
“The base of the song is it doesn't matter what we're wearing, our worth stays the same as a person,” Tyers said. “It's a lighthearted song, but it has that strong message in the back.”
Another song in the lighthearted vein is “Manitoulin,” which speaks about her love of her grandparents' cottage on Manitoulin Island.
“In Manitoulin my worries are all gone/In Manitoulin no traffic can be found/In Manitoulin we can all rest safe and sound/I'll cross that bridge into a different land,” the lyrics read.
This is Tyers' third album — the others were released in 2008 and 2010.
“It took four years to record, partly because of that sickness, partly because of financial reasons,” she said.
“I would record one song whenever I could afford it. This album means a lot more to me than the others, because of the experience and the hardships I went through.”
These days, Tyers is at a happy place in her life again. Besides working on her music, she has two part-time jobs — as a bus driver with Leuschen Transportation and as a meter reader with Union Gas.
She said she enjoys both jobs, as she loves interacting with the kids on the bus and other drivers — which she said has been good for her mental state — and the walking she does while reading meters keeps her in shape.
Tyers will be holding a CD release party for “Blue Socks” at Glad Tidings Church starting at 6:30 p.m. May 10. She invites people to wear their most creative blue socks, with the chance to win a pizza party and house concert by Tyers.
Tickets to the event cost $5 per family, and are available at the door.
The album is available for purchase for $20 at the event, at the The Lighhouse Bookstore on Lasalle Boulevard, or by emailing Tyers at [email protected] An electronic version of the album is also available for purchase on iTunes for $10.
For more information about Tyers, visit www.kassietyers.com.