Mel’s Monday Musings: July 6, 2020

I grew up in an environment where excellence was expected, but pride was shameful. Maybe you did, too.

Well, dammit, I am proud today. And I didn’t cringe when I admitted that, which shows just how far I stand today from where I once was!

Yesterday, as many of you already know, I learned I won an art competition and my artwork will be on the front cover of an EP from my favorite band, Snow Patrol (and all of us Saturday Songwriters). I was already proud of this upcoming album, this collaborative effort between hundreds of people around the world and Gary Lightbody, who is an absolute genius at putting things together. He can pull a cohesive song out of a jumble, one that puts its musical finger squarely on the pulse of what we were feeling that day.

I hope these songs resonate with the world as they have with and for us over these past several weeks (the EP will feature five songs, but we made more together). I hope (and believe) these songs will provide catharsis, will prove to be both a gentle balm and a rousing of joy for more than those of us who helped write them. I made hundreds of masks sitting at my kitchen table while listening to and participating in Saturday Songwrites — it made the work somehow sacred instead of disheartening. Had a few giggle fits along the way that disrupted my clean sewing lines, but they were well worth it!

Profits from album sales will benefit the Trussell Trust, which will put food into the hands of people whose livelihoods have been diminished by the pandemic. Neither I nor SP nor anyone else involved will make money off of this project — that was never the point. This is just the unexpectedly delightful result of a wonderful group of people and a very talented singer/songwriter/rocker coming together to breathe and laugh and cry. We even watched the successful SpaceX launch together!

So yes, I am proud of all of us for this album and for the amazing experience we participated in — and I am grateful to Gary for facilitating it, as well as to Iain Archer for his tireless work to get the EP ready, and to everyone else, SP and otherwise, who sang on the album or played or did something else to contribute. I know I would leave people out if I tried to list them all, but each and every one of them rocks! These songs are going to put goodness into the world at a time when we could all really use more of that.

(Damn, it looks cool, doesn’t it?)

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The exact release date is uncertain at the moment (probably sometime in August), but pre-orders will start this month, and the single off the EP will be out sometime in there.

I am still utterly gobsmacked to have had my work chosen as the album’s cover art; I wrote a bit about what it all means to me on Instagram. What it means for my portfolio/future gigs remains to be seen; I’d love to work with SP and/or other bands for future album covers! Dream job there for sure.

I guess time will tell on all of that, but one thing I know is this: if you get a chance to leap for a brass ring, even if you’re absolutely certain that everyone else is in a better position to make the jump and has longer legs than you do besides, take the leap anyway. You never know — and if you don’t try, it definitely can’t be you! Don’t count yourself out before you begin.

What are you proud of this week?