by Trish Connelly
Certain phrases and seemingly fleeting physical affections can in turn strike a chord and stay with you for the rest of eternity. “Shane, I want you to be there when I die“, Butler’s mother said to him with a firm grip of his hand before packing her bags to move from New York to California. This in turn inspired him to write “Beige Flowers” as a means of processing her words and gesture, a lyrical foreshadowing to her battle with mental illness and eventually taking her own life. Going under the moniker Olden Yolk, Butler’s first release is an honest and beautifully poignant piece on death and reincarnation, a four minute vulnerable sentiment that he hopes will open up conversation concerning the stigma surrounding mental illness. Working as a personal life coach, Butler’s reminisces fondly on how his mother was constantly striving to help others fulfill their potential. “One of the things that became clear after what happened is that she took care of everybody around her but maybe, at certain moments, didn’t take as much care of herself, emotionally. She always put others in front of her. She was always in the mode of sacrifice, which was very beautiful”, recalls Butler in an interview with Bandcamp. Mental illness seems to generate an emotional guardedness in our society and something meant to simply “get over” or deal with internally, a hyper-constructed view that we’re meant to be consistently perfect or that mental struggle is a sign of weakness. Yet mental illness universally affects all of us and our loved ones to a degree or at a certain point of time. In an effort to further benefit the cause, all sales for “Beige Flowers” will go towards Change 2 Mind, a non-profit that staunchly believes in ending the stigma and shame associated with mental illness and opening up channels to amplify voices and stories surrounding mental illness.
Trish Connelly is the Austin-based guru who does booking and promoting at Cheer Up Charlies under The Nothing Song. She’s always down to collaborate and plan a show or event in town. She’s an expert with mixtapes (for all musicians out there you’ll want to send her your stuff!), and making connections with the cool kids. You can follow her on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.