Haux has announced his intensely personal debut album Violence in A Quiet Mind. Produced by Thomas Bartlett (Rhye, Vagabon, Sufjan Stevens) it reflects on a childhood devastated by cancer, substance abuse and a fatal overdose.
Released on Color Study on June 26th, its lead single ‘Heavy’ recalls the moment Woodson Black (Haux) discovered that his Aunt Alice had died of an accidental overdose after years of pain from a brain tumour.
“I remember I was walking back from a show in Boston and I got a phone call from my mum and I kind of just crumpled there on the sidewalk, tearing up. I wrote ‘Heavy’ about that time. I kind of stepped into her shoes for a little bit and wrote t from her perspective, or at least what I imagined it to be.
“I haven’t talked about it too much publicly but while writing this album I struggled at times with depressive thoughts, and some thoughts about the end of my own life. It was scary but it’s there and I think it’s what gave this song significance for me”.
‘Eight’, a standalone single released in November featuring Rosie Carney, recalled the passing of another aunt – his Aunt Patricia who died of lung cancer when Black was just eight. He holds his aunts so dear as they along with his mother and grandmother raised him collectively after his mother fled New Mexico and the unstable relationship she held with Black’s father to join her five sisters on the East Coast.
Following a month writing and recording on the Isle of Harris in Scotland, Black shelved the record, overwhelmed by its intensely personal nature. Producer Thomas Bartlett (Sufjan Stevens, The National) renewed Black’s confidence in the material, helping him to shape and define each song, resulting in the intimate, all-encompassing feeling of Violence in a Quiet Mind.
With songs that embrace empathy—both for one’s self and for those around you—Black sees Violence in a Quiet Mind as a guided therapy of sorts. “The album is about honesty after hiding for so many years. I think it’s something like a self-guided therapy session for sensitive people like me. It’s an album for people who naturally hide their true feelings; people that look OK on the outside but are struggling on the inside, people who think they don’t deserve to get the help they really need”.