In the wake of exceptionally heavy trauma, our typical coping mechanisms don’t always work like they should. We’re not just talking about any old bad day, here. Not a terrible performance review, a spat with a loved one or even a break-up (some are more mild than others). Trauma is an emotional response to a top-tier harrowing occurrence. You know, the shit that doesn’t get washed away by a long, relaxing hot shower at the end of the day.
But, you know, sometimes those mechanisms are all we’ve got.
It doesn’t take a particularly sharp ear to know that June Jones has experienced her fair share of trauma. The singer and songwriter communicates woebegone malaise and anguish better than just about anyone in the country. For example – June’s outfit Two Steps on the Water released a heart-achingly (heart-tearingly, heart-shatteringly) debut LP last year. One of the best works of 2016, hands down. The band has followed it up with ‘A Very Hot Shower’ – a track plucked from the group’s sophomore LP Sword Songs. This song places us at the bottom of the rickety ladder to sanity and wellbeing after a seriously traumatic event (or series of events), and details June’s fear for herself and just what it will take to put the pieces back together.
Through country-tinged, forlorn-folk balladry, Two Steps on the Water gradually moves through the fog in search of strength, propping June up as she stumbles to her feet amid anxiety and uncertainty. The jetsam and debris lies still and in the silence in the wreckage’s wake there exists a moment of clarity, of cognisance of one’s situation and how to rectify it. Healing can only happen step by step, rung by rung. The strength must be found wherever possible, by whatever means are available. For June, ‘A Very Hot Shower’ is about rebuilding herself anew, stronger and more formidable for the sole purpose of getting back on that stage (or using the stage to heal) and continuing to live – fear be damned.
Even when our mechanisms fail us, the key is doing what ever it takes to find our feet again. We keep trying until it works because when it comes down to it, it’s sometimes our only option.