Positive songs strike a chord

WAM Song of the Year finalist Rachel Gorman. Picture: Andrew Ritchie d408091
WAM Song of the Year finalist Rachel Gorman. Picture: Andrew Ritchie d408091

Ms Gorman, a drama teacher at Iona Presentation College, has two songs – Hurting Bird and Wintersun – that are among five finalists in the Mentally Healthy category of the 2013 WA Music Song of the Year competition.

The 26-year-old won the 2010 competition’s Folk Song of the Year and was a finalist in the same category last year, so the member of self-described quirky folk band Rachel and Henry Climb a Hill is a proven talent.

She discovered a deeper appreciation of poetry while studying English Literature at high school but admits the two nominated songs were the result of coping with a recent ‘rough time’.

‘I wrote the songs as a way of coping and as the reflection of a journey,’ she said.

‘It shows we do need to move on from things and get back into a more positive head space.’

She said the old belief that songwriters were tortured souls was interesting because the Mental Health Commission of WA advocated reaching out to talk to others and said constructively expressing feelings was a mentally healthy behaviour.

And it has resulted in some unique but resonating work. Listen to her music at wam.asn.au/songoftheyear or facebook.com.au/rachelgormanmusic.

This year, the competition has 80 nominations across 16 categories with winners announced at The Fly By Night Musicians Club in Fremantle on October 9.