‘Hip therapist’ music

[attach]6004[/attach]Amy Sky’s tunes are non-fiction.

“Non-fiction in the sense that I don’t create fantasy,” the singer-songwriter says. “Everything that I write has an honest point of reference from my own life. [The songs] are not literal, they’re metaphorical. But what’s true about them is the emotion.”

Her latest two-part project, Alive & Awake, is a 16-track album and a book, slated to be released in 2013, about her life and struggles with mood disorders.

It was before Sky had begun her performing career when she realized that she suffered from postpartum depression and anxiety. But instead of letting it hinder her career, she sought help and grew from her experiences.

“It created great empathy and compassion for me from people who are suffering from any kind of disorder, whether physical or mental,” she says. “And I think it allowed me to dig even deeper into my observations about human experience, instead of labelling people by their behaviour.”

Through her own journey, Sky saw these behaviours were simply the ripples on the pond compared to what was actually going on beneath the surface.

To prevent recurrences, Sky uses what she calls “mood hygiene” to keep a balanced body, mind and heart in life.

“Mood disorders, unfortunately, aren’t a one-night-only thing. Once your brain goes to that place, it always wants to go there,” she says.

Her book doubles as a memoir, exploring what led up to the disorder and how she worked through it. It also discusses healing modalities, using the themes of her songs.

The album also reflects this journey. Sky describes the songs on the CD as melodic, something you can walk away from humming.

“They are songs of healing, of hope and heart. But they explore the many facets of the ups and downs of life,” she says.

Sky calls the Alive & Awake album a mix tape created by a really hip therapist. But the greatest challenge that she had creating it was finding images and melodies to tell a story that creates a visceral reaction in the listener.

One of the most important things she learned through her journey comes in the form of her song “I Release You.” To attract a healthy relationship, whether it is a relationship with a person, money or success, people first need to be able to unhook themselves from their old negative beliefs, she says.

“I want people to have that light bulb go off and have people say ‘there’s a better me inside that I could peel away and get to’.”