The best music is used to channel and convey the full range of emotions and the nature of the human experience. Songs that are truly effective have an impact on the listener that lingers, a lasting impression or period of thoughtful introspection, often contrasting the beauty of expression with uncomfortable feelings. ‘Saturday Night Sleeping’ from Brian Mackey draws from your well of empathy in a way that is rarely achieved. On a Saturday night in May, Mackey’s son died from a heroin overdose. This soulful response is heavy with the very real sense of loss. Awareness of the song’s background increases the sensitivity so strongly that it’s easy to miss the musicality, the quality of the performance, the engaging melody and building of tension through the arrangement. Simply put, this is a beautiful song.
In the video, in amongst a series of powerful, symbolic images, including falling flowers, needles, blood and an empty chair, we see Mackey playing through his grief, singing words so personal that we are utterly disarmed. The song builds to an moving conclusion, “You used to be the lovely one, my son,” as a photo of Brian Mackey Jr, a smiling, happy child, is placed before the camera.
The pandemic has led to increasing isolation and loneliness and drug-use is often a tragic partner to such feelings. Our World in Data estimates that 750,000 people lose their lives each year as a result of using illicit drugs. Mackey is hoping that ‘Saturday Night Sleeping’ will help to raise awareness about mental health and addiction. In partnership with MusiCares, all proceeds from the song will be donated this summer and autumn, honouring Mental Health Awareness Month, through to National Addiction Recovery Awareness Month. We are pleased to premiere the video for ‘Saturday Night Sleeping’ and to draw attention to issues affecting so many people and their families.
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