- Nova Holmes
PHEA Unveils New Track ‘Breaking Bones’ and ‘Healing Heart’ EP
American-German singer-songwriter and producer PHEA transforms the painful and hopeless moments of her life into art. With her unique style of music, she drops deeply melodious grooves with meaningful lyrics that cast provocative light on human equality, PTSD, and sheer survival, inspired by her own rare heart condition.
As a survivor of potentially fatal Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, PHEA found expression and comfort in music and poetry in the years that followed her open-heart surgery and implantation of her first defibrillator, at the age of 10. Upon awakening from a medically induced coma, she emerged with battery operated, cyborg circuitry attached to her human heart.
PHEA has created an empowering journey through words and sounds on her brand-new extended-play Healing Hearts. The five-track project is an energetic and fierce listen with dark undertones dealing with gut-wrenching and heart-punching topics that will turn heads. The alternative pop project has electric flavours with a production of electric guitar, synthesisers, alongside her beautiful vocals that bring every story to light.
In the same way every story cannot be taken in, in one read, PHEA delicately portrays a multi-layered and complex story through her artistry creating an evoking mood to be reckoned with, challenged, and embraced on Healing Hearts.
Going back to the beginning of this project, 2021 was a difficult time for PHEA. She was in-between healing from the last and an upcoming operation for her implanted defibrillator when she met with David John Levy to write the focus track ‘Breaking Bones’.
During the operation, it is routine to stop the heart to test if the implanted defibrillator will start it again. She was able to let go of her natural fear of dying and focus on her strengths when she wrote, “Keep on breaking my bones, hoping my skeleton can hold. If I just don't wake up. Tell them I gave it my all,” expressing her emotions in ‘Breaking Bones’.
PHEA and David basically finished the track in one session. Picking the sounds and adding the polarity of a heavy and haunting part and an atmospheric chorus came natural. They played around with some samples and quickly arranged a beat that fit the emotions she wanted to express. They ended up using the demo vocals because they were more emotional than anything they tried to record later on.
Each song showcases PHEA’s strengths, weaknesses, and overcoming obstacles that led her to where she is today, meanwhile facing her past with confidence and graciousness. Musically, the EP moves between alternative pop, hyperpop and electropop shining light on topics such as equality, mental health, PTSD, and sexism.
PHEA comments on the EP:
"With ‘Healing Hearts’ and the focus track ‘Breaking Bones’, I try to take my weaknesses and turn them into strengths. For the longest time, I felt my chronic illness and disability is a weakness that I would try to hide. Which made me suffer mentally. The EP has allowed me to make art from my physical and mental pain. Writing music changed my relationship with my body. I am working on not being resentful towards it and seeing my ability to heal as my biggest strength. I hope others can find comfort in my music, just like I find comfort in writing it.”
See the breakdown of PHEA's latest offering below:
“You can’t win a game you play against yourself” PHEA sings on her debut single ‘Running’ that breaks down the walls of her identity while critically reflecting and acknowledging her self-destructive tendency to perfectionism. Written and produced together with David Knevels as a warning, the song portrays the relationship she had with herself in a time of constant movement, too much work and too little sleep.
'I Saw You'
Combining genres of pop, avant guard pop, and indie pop, ‘I Saw You’ is a flavourable addition to her music catalog. The fierce and energetic mood to the track portrays the inner monologue of a rape victim; it expresses all the questions you will never get answered and the endless hours of contemplating why it happened. The lyrics for are inspired by PHEA’s experience with sexual abuse and harassment. She warrants courage taking back her power as she bravely shows the anger and confusion a victim feels.
‘Dark Thoughts’ is a beautifully and haunting track that portrays the harsh reality of a sleeping disorder. Only years after her heart attack and undergoing open-heart surgery, the young artist’s trauma started manifesting in her sleeping habits. After seeking professional help, she was diagnosed with PTSD from time she had spent in the hospital. Growing older and learning to navigate her physical and mental health, the artists found comfort in music and poetry. Now embracing sleepless nights through creativity and composing, she wrote this track with co-writer and producer Raphael Neikes.
'When I'm Falling'
While in the hospital due to her chronic heart condition, PHEA found that listening to Mac Miller's album, Circles, helped her cope with physical pain and anxiety. Finding comfort in melancholy, she felt inspired to write 'When I’m Falling'. Hopeful yet truthful to the process of healing, the track tells the story of dealing with chronic illness at a young age.
The final track of the EP, ‘Breaking Bones’ is PHEA’s way of giving her body credit for everything it has been put through and showcasing its power to heal, and so is her EP Healing Hearts.