London artist Eaves Wilder, who recently signed for Secretly Canadian (and who I tipped in Under the Radars 23 for 2023), returns with another cracking single “Are You Diagnosed?” and news of her debut EP Hookey.
The single is a driving-off-the-wall slice of guitar pop with real bite. And although it’s slightly tongue in cheek it also shines a light on a serious issue as Eaves looks to de-romanticise mental illness, based on her own experiences as well as addressing how difficult it is to access treatment.
And I’ll allow myself a little rant here too – demand for these services has risen to record levels in the UK and yet the mental health crisis, particularly in young people, wasn’t inevitable. Over a decade of austerity has seen mental health budgets slashed to the bone – and that, lest we forget when we get the chance to vote, has been the direct result of political choices.
Reflecting on her interactions with the British mental health service CAMHS “I first entered the Child and Adolescent Mental Health services – or CAMHS – when I was eleven.” explains Eaves. “Although they did finally help me, and I left at the age of fifteen, ‘Are You Diagnosed?’ is basically a stream-of-consciousness, scream for help rant/report about what it’s like in those awful, quiet waiting rooms, and consulting rooms.
As CAHMS is so dangerously underfunded by the government, the deal is- the closer you are to death, the higher up the waiting list you go. Which on average is around 16 months. And people with eating disorders are competitive anyway, so it’s very easy to look around the waiting room and think, ‘I need to be the most ill person here. I need to get … ill-er than the girl with the bandages on her arms, or the tube up her nose – or I’ll never get treated. I’m going to make my way up that list.’
The key thing is getting your diagnosis. There’s no treatment until diagnosis. You don’t know what is happening to you. And a lot of people doubt you are ill anyway. They (friends, family, teachers) think that you’re making it all up, I think that’s easier for them. And so the biggest question is, over and over: “Are you diagnosed? Are you diagnosed?”
In celebration of Hookey, Eaves has announced a run of three shows at The Social, London for February-March 2023. Tickets are available now.
Eaves Wilder – Live Dates:
22nd February – The Social, London
1st March – The Social, London
8th March – The Social, London
4th May – The Lexington, London
20th – 23rd July – Secret Garden Party, Cambridgeshire
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