“This too shall pass.”
Ardyn are a brother-sister duo from Stroud, Gloucestershire who have made some of the most stunning alternative pop music that’s been released over the past few years. Their debut EP Universe was released back in 2015, followed by The Valley EP in 2016 and their latest EP Bloom, which was released late last year. They’ve supported Wild Beasts on tour and spent last summer travelling across the country, wowing audiences at festivals such as Bluedot, Citadel, Truck and Kendal Calling. We chatted to Katy Pearson from the band about managing anxiety, her perfect day and working on their new EP…
Hey Ardyn, what are you working on at the moment?
Hello! At the mo we are hibernating away between Bristol and Stroud working on a new EP and a debut album.
In your track ‘Together’ you sing about the importance of communication and making sure you’re on the same page as someone in order to sustain a healthy relationship, how important is this?
I think communication is so vital in a relationship. So often I think in this day and age, people can feel safer to not open up and keep quiet but I think keeping in regular contact with close friends and family is really important to keep up to date with how everyone is feeling, so that hopefully at some point they feel comfortable enough to properly open up if they’re feeling wobbly.
‘Throwing Stones’ sounds like you were quite frustrated with someone and that they were lying to you – do you think honesty is tied in with self-worth? If someone is lying to you it can make you feel quite worthless sometimes.
Definitely, I think being lied to is similar to the feeling of rejection and I’m a very sensitive person, so if I find out someone has lied to me it can be very hurtful, especially when you trust the person.
‘Help Me On My Way’ tells us that sometimes you can’t make changes all on your own, sometimes you need someone else’s guidance. How important is it to have someone to confide in? Who is that person for you?
I feel so lucky to have a really close group of friends and I am very close to my family too. It’s so important to have someone to confide in, obviously my parents and my brother are at the top of the list, but my godmother I’m very close too also and talk to a lot about what’s going on. I also think talking therapy is so, so good… even if you aren’t struggling with mental health, it’s so nice to have someone you see who really listens and validates how you feel.
What has been your biggest life challenge and what did you do to overcome it?
I have always struggled with anxiety and mild depression from time-to-time, linking to a hormonal condition I suffer with called PMDD. I think these two things have been my biggest challenges so far, especially trying to deal with it while navigating my career in music, at times I was feeling very insecure and didn’t really want to leave my room or see anyone. I overcame it through counselling, walking and just being more open with people about how I was feeling.
How important has music been to your mental health?
Music has always been my escapism. Although the industry side of things can complicate it sometimes. Whenever I’ve felt sad or low, music has been my therapy, it really helps me to off load and when I write a new song I do feel a bit lighter. Music is so important to me, every morning when I wake up I put music on and whenever I’m travelling I’m listening to music, it’s such a good companion and always lifts my spirits.
What would constitute a ‘perfect’ day for you?
Being on Bantham Beach in south Devon or in a big park on a hot day with a bunch of my close friends and in the evening sitting around a campfire with a bunch of beers.
For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
I feel very grateful to get to do music as my career, I also feel very lucky to have such loving and supportive people in my life.
Complete this sentence: “Ace mental health for me means…”
…feeling content with my situation and not overthinking too much and feeling calm.
Who was your best friend at school? What was the funniest thing they did?
My best friend at school was a girl called Millie Goodinson, she lived in a village nearby and had the most beautiful garden and loads of chickens and dogs and a cat called Merlin. She introduced me to The Maccabees when I was in my Taylor Swift stage at around 13 and we used to go to loads of gigs together in Bristol and fangirl… There were too many hilarious things that happened over the years but my fave is when we went to WOMAD Festival together and we were hanging out with these local lads trying to be really cool, then I realised I had sat in someone’s wee! It was horrible, but hilarious looking back.
What advice do you offer to friends when they are feeling overwhelmed?
I always remember a quote my mum told me when I was struggling and it’s “this too shall pass”. When you’re really struggling, you can really start to believe that the way you’re feeling is going to be forever and you’re never going to get over it. I always tell my friends it’s not going to be a instant fix but they will get better and to take it easy and not give themselves a hard time just because they can’t cope. I always like to suggest a good lavender bath & binge-watching all the Harry Potter films, a bit of magic always lifts my spirits.
What three songs lift your spirits?
The Beatles – She Said
The Beach Boys – God Only Knows
Girls – Lust for Life
Do you have any routines that help you through stressful situations, such as right before a live performance?
I didn’t use to but when we started doing bigger shows I did start getting myself really worked up & anxious before the show, so when we did our big London show at Hoxton Hall I did some meditation backstage beforehand and just had some alone time to centre and ground myself before going onstage.
The Bloom EP is out now, via Method Records.