Cheekbone creates a raw portrait of mental illness with ‘Knowing Me’

CW: This video contains a graphic depiction of suicide

‘Knowing Me’ is the debut single from Townsville producer CHEEKBONE, but you may know Adib Parker, the man behind this project, from indie-rock band Lost Boys, or one of his other forays into the music scene.  ‘Knowing Me’ is dark, foreboding electro track, and the accompanying video tells an intimate story of the suicide of a family member in rural Queensland. By confronting themes of mental illness, Cheekbone hopes to bring to light the conversations we need to be having in an authentic and realistic way.

At almost seven minutes, the ‘Knowing Me’ video verges on the territory of a short film, taking the time to lay out the awful anticipation, only visible in retrospect, that precedes a traumatic event like suicide. Alternating between the tragic aftermath of the event and the blissful normalcy that precedes it, the home-video quality of the footage serves to emphasise the fact that mental illness is far more common and more brutal than our society would like to think.

The track itself is a slow-burner, as Cheekbone fuses Eastern instrumentation with Western electronica. The synths are overwhelming and the bassline thuds like a heartbeat, while ambient sounds like breathing, fragments of conversation and a tape recorder being loaded add to the atmosphere of everyday horror.

With ‘Knowing Me’, Cheekbone asserts himself as a force to be reckoned with on the electronica scene, thanks to his powerful yet subtle production. But by tackling the theme of mental illness, ‘Knowing Me’ becomes a much broader statement about the stories that we choose to tell, and those that are too important to ignore.

If you or someone you know needs support in a crisis situation please call BeyondBlue on 1300 22 4636 for 24/7 counselling.

Words by Molly McLaughlin

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The first album Molly ever purchased was Avril Lavigne’s pioneering 2002 debut, ‘Let Go’. She stands by that decision.