My name is Taurri and before discussing each track on my new album XIII individually, it might help to explain how it came about. I’d been stockpiling words for about 2 years but never felt comfortable moving forward or considering a release.
Initially, the words weren’t songs, they were solely entries in a diary of the inner dialogues I was trying to decode. I was writing because I couldn’t talk. I needed an outlet for the issues I was experiencing but didn’t feel comfortable opening up to anyone, so I scribbled them down.
Then, as time passed, I started to see the value in expression and felt a desire to share these thoughts with others in an attempt to rid me of the power they held. I began piecing together a project but much to my dismay, the duality of my mental state inhibited me from maintaining faith and motivation.
I knew I needed to finish the album and move on, but it never felt complete and that grey area of uncertainty was all my demons needed to convince me of my inability. As it turns out, that was because the story I was writing had no ending and I could therefore never find a point of resolve for the project.
Annoyingly, no matter how hard I tried, I was incapable of writing an ending because that required me to find some resolve in my life. Ironically, I did not realise all of this until after I had found my conclusion in the form of a mind-altering weekend that undoubtably saved my life. May 13th, as I will go on to explain, was the day I found the ending to my story.
“Youthanasia” is the beginning. It’s frustrating that even now, after introducing myself as an ambassador for honest expression, the idea of explaining this track is fairly gut wrenching. To summarise in a way I feel comfortable, “Youthanasia” is the story of a young couple with an unhealthy view of love that spiralled out of control.
If I got the courage to leave, she would call me and threaten to ‘do something stupid’ if I didn’t return and of course I would go back over and over again for fear of what she would do. This song specifically narrates the day that I didn’t go back.
I’m not going to delve deeper because it was hard enough writing it once. Obviously, it’s a difficult task to locate the true source of depression, but I think this was my first adult encounter with toxic connections that lead me down the path I describe in this album.
“Questions” is an unedited account of an existential crisis. I actually had to go downstairs to my friend’s room and chat to him because I’d convinced myself I wasn’t a real person. After having that conversation, I started writing down the questions that were circulating my brain and in doing so managed to calm down quite significantly.
The first few lines were erratically scratched on the paper with no care for appearance or structure but as I got down the page my handwriting became clearer and somehow more tranquil. Of all the tracks on this album, this is the one I was most scared about releasing.
“Tears” takes place when I had moved away to a much bigger city and began a rather steep descent into illness. I’d been battling with a fairly grey cloud in my head for a few years, but it was at this point that it faded to black. Whilst illustrating a new-found mindfulness for my feelings, the track highlights the duality I was experiencing between hope and despair.
“Colder” continues where “Tears” left off, but I began to shift my focus to the world around me. I was trying to understand how that city had had such a detrimental effect on my health, so I wrote openly about what I saw, and this is what came out.
As the track progresses, I become more passionate about the topic and I suppose I felt empowered by what I was writing because I get increasingly confident as well.
Then after the final chorus, I had successfully vented about the corruption I was witnessing and realised the point of the track and the point of my time in that city. I realised that my purpose is to be honest and use my ability to articulate as a positive force.
“Lady” is another tale of troubled romance. Though it was written mostly during a relationship that occurred in the same time frame as “Colder” and “Tears”, it’s more of a track addressing my toxic concept of love as opposed to individual details of one relationship.
The title was originally going to be “Lady Of Lesser Luck”, which alludes to the idea that I was writing about the ghost of twisted love affair. I always saw the ‘Lady of Lesser Luck’ as a corpse bride style silhouette dancing round the corridors of my mind.
“Curtains” is the centrefold of the story. At this point, I had returned back to my family home in Cornwall in an attempt to start the healing process, but this change of pace brought new challenges. I had failed everything I moved away for and had to start rebuilding from rock bottom.
I couldn’t cope with being awake, but I was too scared to sleep. My memory starts to get a little bit hazy from this point onwards because the second half of the album coincides with my introduction to opiates, but I will try to be as clear as possible.
I think “Curtains” is the first track on the album where I had started doing all that, because my inability to sleep was linked to opiate withdrawals. Horrible things. I know as a population we have differing opinions about drugs such as alcohol and cannabis, but we can surely agree that the opioid situation is one that needs to be addressed before it goes any further.
“Heal” is a second act track that I’m clearer on. This was my realisation of the fact that I could not continue down a road of self-destruction and abuse. I wanted to be completely honest with myself and address the fact that I couldn’t carry on as I was.
Unfortunately, this realisation was not enough to overpower the negative voice in my head, but it was the first step, acknowledgement of a problem. I’d been lying to myself and people around me for a very long time and I needed to accept the fact that I was on the wrong path.
It also touches on the idea that I wanted to heal without following the elsewhere suggested route of pharmaceuticals and I’d like to take this opportunity to say it’s possible.
I didn’t go down the route of anti-depressants because I’ve seen them ruin the lives of people I love, and I’m very proud to say that you truly can improve your mental state with a healthy lifestyle. Small steps, day by day and you’ll get there. I promise.
“Rust” depicts the other side of the realisations I address in ‘Heal’. Rust is the panic I experienced every time I ignored my body’s cries for help and continued filling myself with poison in a futile attempt of escapism. I was angry at myself for the torment I had put myself through and I think this verse was one that in particular helped me to accept that I needed to reach out and ask for help.
“Cry” follows on from that acceptance and talks about the importance of reaching out when you are feeling lost. I started to recapture the purpose I had discovered in “Colder” and decide to embrace it fully.
I didn’t care if it didn’t fit the box my perceptions had trapped me in, I wanted to hold onto that purposefulness and run with it.
Essentially, I wanted to try and use my music to help people who needed it, and that sentiment underpinned every decision I made after that point. I’d learned that honesty could save lives and I wanted to promote that in spite of any insecurities that I felt about releasing music of this kind.
“Pest” is a message to someone I desperately wanted to help with the lessons I’d learnt during the journey I’d been on. It’s something I’ve struggled with a lot in my life, but this particular case was particularly upsetting because it led to me losing one of my closest friends.
Unfortunately, I have a nasty voice in my head that tells me I’m a pest to everyone around me and despite my best intentions, those attempts to help my loved ones often end with that voice saying, “I told you so“.
I’ve now learnt that everyone is on their own path and sometimes all you can do is tell someone you care and hope that they reach out in their time of need. At the time I didn’t understand that though and it led to a lot of heartache.
“Blood” is the story of May 13th, the day my life actually changed. All the lessons I’d learnt previous to this were still prevalent but had not cemented into my lifestyle yet, meaning I was still making some very unwise life choices. I had started to take my health seriously and look after myself, but I was still going out and overindulging occasionally.
This less frequent indulgence was obviously still enough to damage my body because on May 11th, while at a house party, I vomited a concerning amount of blood. I left the party instantly and went outside, which resulted in more blood and more panic. I stayed awake for the whole weekend, because I thought if I went to sleep, I might die.
This sleep deprivation carried me through to Sunday (May 13th) and in a lucid state I looked for any sign of hope in my surroundings. I knew I wanted to heal, but I was so debilitated by fear and addiction that it felt impossible without some divine intervention.
I went to a lookout point and saw one of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve ever seen in my hometown. It was perfect. It was as though someone had painted every aspect to be as wholesome and hopeful as it could possibly seem, and that was my sign. The sign may have taken a seemingly simple form, but the reminder that life can be beautiful was exactly the reminder I needed at that moment.
I then looked into the number thirteen because I was curious to see if it held any meaning to my situation other than the date. The first meaning I came across was death & rebirth. This furthered the complexity of the experience I’d just had and enhanced my desire to respect the sign I’d been given.
Before this point, I’d romanticised the idea of improving my life without any real commitment, but after May 13th I started taking the necessary steps to heal, and I can now confidently say I’m in a much better place.
“Answers” is my response to the lost soul who wrote “Questions”. By this point I’d grown a lot as a person and developed a significantly clearer outlook on the world I lived in. This track is an acknowledgement life’s beauty in opposition to the darkness I had been engulfed in. It’s a message to myself and everyone else to express that life is hard but it’s worth living.
“Tomb” is the beginning of the next chapter. Weirdly enough I wrote “Tomb” before any of the other tracks on this album, at a time where I was recovering from a previous mental breakdown of sorts. That’s why I believe it’s the perfect track to represent the inability to put a “happily ever after” on a story like this.
In a nutshell, it means things aren’t how they were and I’m ready to have a crack at what comes next. I do still have my battles and I’d be lying if I said I was void of the odd breakdown, but the difference is that now I know for certain that I want to fight those battles and never let the darkness win.
“Tomb” is my reminder that trouble could be around any corner and I must remain on a positive path if I wish to keep those demons at bey when the time comes.
Listen to my XIII album below!