Nashville pop singer Daniella Mason is about to unleash her Emotional State EP, and it’s been in the making for quite some time now — even when she didn’t know it.
“All of the days spent peeling away layers, breaking down walls, and coming to terms with life and loss kind of spun together into these songs,” Mason tells Billboard of the four-track record.
The death of a loved one led to some of the most potent storytelling of Mason’s career, and the recording process was no less heart-wrenching. Now, she is ready to share her innermost vulnerabilities and fears, if only so others can find reprieve. “I hope I can meet many others in their sorrow, in their mourning, and also in their healing,” Mason says.
Below, you can get an exclusive first listen of Daniella Mason’s Emotional State on Billboard today (Oct. 4), and check out her breakdown of the EP after the jump.
The order [of the track list] was important to me, because I wanted the EP to really tell a true story front to back, with all of the ups and downs and twists and turns that come with exploring our emotional state. “Human” starts everything off with the tale of opening yourself up to vulnerability, emotion, and what it really means to be human. For a long time, I stifled my emotions because they felt reckless and time-consuming — getting in the way of my goals. I began to realize that this wasn’t healthy, that it was shutting down many other areas of my life, and that this stifling wasn’t helping me get to my goals. “Human” tells the story of how my husband (and collaborator) helped to create a safe space for me to explore and embrace these feelings. The vulnerability he offered me begged a return…a machine, turned human by the love of another.
“Public Places” is an ode to what happens next: crying in public. In opening up doors, I unleashed the waters. I ended up crying on planes, trains, and automobiles all over the country. We’ve all been there, so I figured I’d be able to make a few of those “public breakdown” people feel a little less alone. It’s funny, because now I feel pretty well-balanced and in control of my emotional life, but it was only after I let those emotions come to the surface and reveal themselves (even in public), that I was able to find that balance and healthily choose gratitude and joy every day and not be pretending.
The natural next step seemed to be “Emotional Rollercoaster.” It details getting to know the feelings I kept at bay for so long: the fear of growing old, of wasting my youth, and of being out of control — one of my hardest lessons. The bridge specifically details the fear of going mad. But I find that when you’ve stifled yourself emotionally for so long and then begin to let it all unravel and let those emotions reveal themselves, you feel a bit mad, even though it’s actually just a taste of being human.
Everything tumbles into the last song, the cry of my heart. This is the first time I have publicly processed the death of my mother. I cannot recall a moment I’ve been more honest. It is everything I would say to her, should the clouds part and she make an appearance. “I miss you.” “Would you call me heretic or would you call me joy?” “Would you be proud?” My mother was everything to me. My confidant, friend, voice teacher, and creative inspiration. She suffered from cancer early on in my life and I grew up seeing her bear the scars of her trouble beautifully. Never did I imagine that this strong being I relied on every day would be taken from me. It did a number on me. And even though I’ve found myself, 10 years later, in a place of joy and peace that honestly defies understanding, I’m releasing this song that shows a glimpse into my mourning of her.
Every morning, it was everything I could do to just wake up. I know that there are so many living in that state today and I hope they are able to hear my lament and feel less alone. And I hope that those that are struggling to get out of bed in the morning can hear the cries of the choir towards the end: “Get up, get up in the morning,” and that they would. Sometimes it’s all we can do. And once we get up, the day starts to creep in and help us live, even in the midst of loss.