As a songwriter, it can be hard to approach tough subjects like mental illness gracefully; thankfully, artists like Carrie Welling put in the hard work and make beauty from the not-so-pretty parts of life.
A self-proclaimed military brat, Welling is no stranger to change and exploration. Not having roots in any specific place left her feeling lost in her 20s and 30s, but eventually led Welling to settle in Nashville, where she soon found her place as a musician. Americana and blues influences lend to Welling’s bold, sultry sound; vocally driven and heartbreak inspired, her music touches listeners across the globe.
Despite the nagging voices Welling has heard her whole life, the songwriter recognizes that perfection is not necessary for success – a truth that she discovered in her years of writing and touring. She speaks of her struggles candidly in her music, and authenticity has become the foundation of her relationship with her fanbase. These patrons, whom she refers to as “champions,” have helped her grow her career, and over the years have become more like friends of hers than fans.
A talented singer and songwriter, it is no surprise that noteworthy producers like Alex Wong have sought her out as a collaborator. Grammy-nominated, Wong is a multi-faceted artist; with work appearing in films like The Last Song, notable projects as a producer, two solo albums, and a musical in the works, Wong is a force to be reckoned with. Performances at festivals like Coachella, Outsidelands, and in theaters around the world, he, like Welling, is a seasoned performer and traveler.
Welling and Wong’s first collaborative effort, “Monster (NIGHT)” is a raw and emotional pop-rock ballad meant to open up an important discussion about mental health. The track is about taking both the light and dark of who you are and embracing that duality to fight demons, fighting for the acknowledgment of our “monsters” as the allies they are rather than pushing them down.
The NIGHT version represents this monster we often try to hide, whereas the acoustic “Monster (DAY)” version is meant to highlight the beauty in the existence of our inner warriors. More orchestral but stripped back, the DAY version serves as the contrast to NIGHT, representing the full scope of mental illness. Both versions are equally compelling – Welling’s performance employs so much authenticity that the emotion jumps right at you through the song.
Today, July 2nd, the duo will host an exclusive release event, which had a limited in-person attendance of 40 patrons; in addition, the private concert offered a live-stream option for fans outside of the Nashville area. Featuring live performances by Welling, Wong, and Thunderlily, a portion of each ticket sold was donated to Rethink Mental Illness, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for those affected by mental illness, by transforming the way we approach it.
Not only is “Monster” an important reminder that no one is alone, but it is also an impactful move by Welling and Wong towards starting necessary conversations.