I first encountered Slothrust’s “Horseshoe Crab” from their album, Everyone Else (Dangerbird Records, 2016), while firmly in the eight-tentacled grasp of Major Depression. I was at the point where I desperately needed some sort of life raft — some understanding that someone, somewhere understood what I was going through and had, perhaps, felt the tentacles slide off their exhausted ankles. That is certainly what I found in this song.
Whether or not Slothrust’s Leah Wellbaum is actually singing about depression, when I heard her declare, “When I get better/I’ll treat you like I used to/ I’ll do the things you want me to” and “I don’t have anything in common/ With myself, except that I came from the sea/Just like everyone else did/ But it is so unfamiliar now/ Everything is so unfamiliar now,” I felt like I had finally burst into flames. Someone else got it — that feeling that this illness had taken me out of myself and turned me into something else. But not everything. I thought to myself over and over, “when I get better.” Not “if,” but when. The song was precisely the extra medicine I needed in that moment and, had it been a record, I would have listened to it until the needle broke through the vinyl.
Slothrust is currently on tour with their amazing album, The Pact (Dangerbird Records, 2018), which is equally worth the listen. To those who need it, as Wellbaum sings, sometimes “underwater it gets better” and its okay to not feel like yourself for a while. When you get better, you’ll do the things they want you to. Take care of yourself and listen to “Horshoe Crab.”
(Song recommendation by Jane Aman)