If you know me, you might know that attending an AA meeting is on my bucket list. No, I don’t have a problem (I’m too cheap to invest in an addiction), I just like the idea of people with a common bond going somewhere to have coffee and cookies while sharing stories. Maybe I just need more friends. Anyways, when I heard Kat Hamilton’s Recovery Songs album, I got to vicariously live through her musical journey in rehab and the emotional missteps that brought her there.
Recently, nine various musicians covered a song each for a benefit album called Recovery Friends. The album dropped today on Bandcamp and all of Bandcamp’s proceeds from the album go to The Trevor Project. The Trevor Project is an organization that helps LGBTQ youth in crisis; any album that benefits them is good in my book. The artists are from all over the country and all styles of music but all remain true to the honest, soul-baring lyrics of the original.
Mom Friend begins Recovery Friends with Kat’s country-pop “Medicine Line” and rocks out the battling of demons in treatment. The emotional apology for breaking someone’s heart over a heavy drum beat on “Ohio” is brought to a whole new level on Emmesong’s stripped down version. Will Lynch, who was one of the co-writers and drummers on Recovery Songs, does his self-hatred filled version of “Empty Room” that’s hauntingly melodic. “Slow Motion” is the speed at which an ex walks away once the break-up bomb is dropped over Ali Coyle’s heartbeat drumming. Kat’s fun-rocking “Hate Me” goes darker and angrier both vocally and musically by No Grudges. Self harm and loathing on Kat’s simplistic sounding “Afraid Of Your Body” gets a lift from April Keez’s smiling-through-the-pain revamp. Who wouldn’t want to forget the pain sometimes, Kat and Zee Machine are no different, on the beautiful balladry of “Amnesia.” The Astronots amp up Kat’s folksy “Little Gods” to full-blown country while being unapologizing flawed. Recovery Friends ends with Haus Music’s indie version of “Plastic Folding Chairs” that weave therapy shares into a story Kat no longer wants to tell.
You may not know the original album or some of the musicians on Recovery Friends, but in my gay opinion, the proceeds go to a good cause and there’s many songs to relate to. Everyone’s struggle is different but the root of much of our pain is universally the same.