We all have been through some difficult times, even particularly dark times where we question our very purpose in this life. After the departure with Sick Puppies, Shim Moore found himself in his own dark time. He felt as if he had lost everything. No band. No income. A loss of friends. A loss of identity. So what is one to do in such a confusing and stressful time? Well, in Shim’s own words, “You got to lean into it.”
It wasn’t an easy road ahead for Shim as he tried to find his new identity in his post-Sick Puppies world. After some failed collaborations he finally decided it was time to do this his way and on his own. Turning his bedroom into a makeshift studio, Shim began to produce and engineer what was to be his first solo album. “You can create the life you want regardless of the perceived obstacles,” Shim noted.
As simply as it can be stated, there is so much more to his story than that. Shim found himself descending into a dark, depressed state as the reality of his new world settled in. Deeply feeling his recent loss, it felt as though something had died in him and he found it hard to keep moving. In a deep depression, however brief, you really learn a lot about yourself and about those around you, and there comes a time when you need to find your own “emotional truth.”
There were times when he felt like he just didn’t want to wake up the next day. He mentioned how “people talk to you for five minutes and then they get on with their life.” He didn’t want to die, he just didn’t want to exist anymore. His words resonated so strongly with me and it is a feeling all too relatable to many of those who suffer from depression. So how did he break free?
He began to realize that, “you’re going to have to deal with it eventually. Bad things happen… get through it.” Shim then asked himself what he was really going to do to get through this miserable time; he needed to “lean into it.”
Unwilling to let the darkness win, Shim started doing what he does best: writing. It was so difficult at first, but he began to see things for what they really were and realized, “this is what I am supposed to do.” So he wrote. And wrote. And wrote. One evening as he wrote, he started to feel a weird pressure on his chest and had the overwhelming thought, “don’t write this.” The “this” in his thoughts became “Don’t Wake Me Up,” the last track on his album. Even though he had a strong desire not to go there, he somehow had to, and with the help of half a bottle of vodka, he did just that. This dark piano ballad “just sits in these dark fucking emotions,” but it needed to be written. He needed to get it off his chest.
“This is my ride, this is my truth,” Shim explained. To him, this song became about everything and it was so freeing for him to write about it all. Depression, whether it be temporary or long-term, is extremely isolating, but in his catharsis, he came to realize that he wasn’t alone.”I didn’t know anybody else felt this way.”
From there, it took him just 44 days to record his new album.
No longer wanting to just disappear, it was time to get up and moving and release his first single, “Hallelujah.” With this empowering single, he also created a unique music video featuring a band and choir full of puppets. Blazing his way back out of the dark, he found people (and puppets) were so kind in welcoming him back to this world.
With a release date of September 14, 2018, Shim found he actually had some time on his hands before the album drops and his tour could kick off. Aside from writing what will be his second album and curating his social media content, he throws in a little Netflix time to catch up on a variety of different documentaries. His recent viewing included The Untold History of the United States. He finds that these documentaries give him some perspective with the added bonus of creating better conversations.
In between that and radio station interviews, he found himself at his first solo gig at Rock on the Range. He realized he was actually nervous to perform, but, as he explained, he needed to pop his cherry with this first solo gig.
“Nervous? Who cares? Just do it,” he told himself. His newfound positivity and purpose just beamed through him as he performed and he found the crowd welcoming of his return. Dotted with only a few technical problems, his first gig as a solo artist was now done and he was all the better for it.
Feeling 100% confident that this album is the best work that he has ever done, the moments of darkness that he had endured are now fading away into memory. Listening to Shim’s new album on repeat as I write this, I realize just how easy as it is to drown in those dark moments, but Shim found his writing and it transformed him and helped him as he pushed through to the other side. After all, “what are you really gonna do? You got to lean into it.”
For info and tour updates, visit www.shimmusic.com