Artist: H.C. McEntire
Hometown: Durham, North Carolina
Song: “Soft Crook”
Release Date: October 4, 2022
Label: Merge Records
In Their Words: “‘Soft Crook’ was an exercise in vulnerability and trust. At its narrative core, the lyrics expose my struggle with depression through an unfiltered lens — calling it what it is, shaking hands with it, unapologetically honoring the power of its grip. It’s a mysterious and unpredictable companion that can make walking this world feel like slogging through unforgiving fields of mud. Navigating the nuances of pandemic isolation while under a debilitating depression fog was the most alone I have ever felt. To embody grief honestly, to embrace its clumsy and unhinged corners — to survive — required efforts and elixirs of self-preservation. The chorus became an anthem, of sorts; a mantra for letting go of guilt in needing these things — whether medication or TV shows or other vices — to offer myself some grace.
“I also wanted to capture a moment in time last fall when I’d opened myself back up to love; a way to summon the feeling of resting deeply in my girlfriend’s arms — that safety in hold, that transfer of both white-hot surrender and soft certainty, being touched strong and gentle at the same time; when guards are down and there is peace, if only for a moment, in the quiet consent of joy. So I walked to the front porch and snapped a photo of the late afternoon sky as proof, a reminder that there is much to feel, and much to lose. That love needs to be nurtured, even if stacked with unknowns. And we need to nurture ourselves as best we can, with whatever it takes to move towards another dawn.” — H.C. McEntire
Photo Credit: Heather Evans Smith