Fears is the solo project of the 25 year-old musician from Dublin, Constance Keane. Earlier this year she released “h_always”, written during her time spent in St Patrick’s Mental Health Services where she found a comforting hub in the music room facilities. This became a significant part of her recovery process.
Can you give me a little bit of background on the project Fears?
Fears is my solo project that I create in my bedroom. It’s reflective music that I write and record mainly using electronics, and some acoustic sampling. Some people say it’s sad, others say it’s hopeful. Most say it’s good for listening to when you’re walking home at night time.
Has music always been a therapeutic process for you?
Music has always been a place to put my emotions. It can be a good way to filter out what you think you feel from what you actually feel. When you’re wound up, there’s usually a layer or two of emotion just under your skin that you need to offload before you can do anything productive with it, and for me music is where I can throw those feelings. I have a tendency to ruminate a lot, and the only way for me to stop that is for me to release whatever I have circling in my brain.
Why did you initially decide to speak so publicly about your mental health struggles?
Last autumn, something very bad happened to me, and as a result I became acutely suicidal and ended up admitted to a hospital for an inpatient stay. While I was there, I used the hospital’s music room every single day. I decided to speak publicly about how vital that music room was for me in an attempt to start a conversation about how vital creative resources like that are in mental health facilities. That room was a game-changer for me in my recovery and I wish that all facilities had resources like that.
Can you tell us a little bit about your experience in St Pats and how this helped you recover?
I was an inpatient in St Pat’s for 6 weeks last autumn/winter. Overall, I had a really positive experience. At the time, it was necessary for me to be in a place like that to keep me safe. It was really helpful for me to be in a place where people were so open about not being okay. I’m a perfectionistic person with really high standards for myself, so being in an environment where I didn’t have to be “good” at anything was huge for me. I met some really special people along the way too.
Whats your favourite album/song to listen to when you are feeling down?
I usually listen to sad music when I’m feeling down because, rather than avoid emotion, I prefer to go into it and then get it over and done with. I listened to a lot of Grouper while I was in hospital, and I found her song “Headache” incredibly comforting.