Don’t Fret Tracks: Beth Morris, Jitterz

Jitterz are the Leicester duo whose self-confessed brand of awkward punk rock is beginning to put them on the radar of indie tastemakers across the UK. 

What’s more, singer and lyricist Beth Morris is the latest musician to dissect her own work for our Don’t Fret Tracks feature.

Here, Beth discusses the personal side to One Good Song as she takes us back to the roots of her anxiety. Endless thanks to Beth for sharing her story with us.

“My mental health hit an all time low when I graduated from university and moved home. Apparently that’s a life change that unnerves a lot of people, and for some reason it hit me hard. I’ve always been working towards something and for the first time in my life I had no plans or any sense of where I was going. I felt incredibly lost and out of character. I had panic attacks every day, I struggled to eat, I cried way too easily and I slept too much. I was so sensitive to my surroundings that loud noises would shake me up and everything felt violent and intrusive. I always felt like the worst possible thing was about to happen. I had no idea what was going on.

“I know now exactly what was going on. Anxiety.”

Music has always been of great comfort to me. Nothing compares to the feeling I get when I listen to my favourite albums or play a gig. Songwriting for me has been of particular cathartic value. It really hit a nerve at university when we had a lecture about the perfect “formula” for a great song, because for me a great piece of music is not something you can just tick boxes with. However cheesy it sounds, music is my lifelong best friend. It has given me the answers when I don’t know my arse from my elbow. Music is my way back to feeling like myself again.

For me, One Good Song was a new start. For years now I’ve been gigging solo. Then, out of what felt like nowhere, this punk song appeared. It didn’t feel right to just sing it with an acoustic guitar. It is in-your-face; big, bold, brash. It gave me strength. It gave me a voice. I digged out my electric guitar and formed a band with the lovely and brilliant and oh-so-talented drummer Jamie Brown. Jitterz has given me a new lease of life. We create awkward punky-rock and roll together and it feels great.

“Do whatever makes you feel like the best version of yourself.”

If you suffer from anxiety or depression, or anything that has the horrific ability of making you feel like the worse version of yourself possible, my two pennies’ of advice is to do whatever makes you feel like the best version of yourself. I realise that’s easier said than done, but please listen to yourself and give yourself what you really need. Whether that’s writing a song or reading a book or visiting your best friend. Spending time with your family or playing sport or sitting in your pants watching Pixar films. Whatever makes you tick, lose track of time, do it. Whatever is a good for you and makes you feel even a tiny bit better, do it. Be patient, listen to yourself and be kind to yourself.

What I’ve learnt over the past couple of years is that I am not my anxiety. It is just part of me and there is so much more to me than that. I once wrote a song, that no-one has ever heard, and the chorus says, “fear is just a feeing”. I remember that whenever I’m feeling anxious. This too shall pass. Or in more modern speak, “YOU GOT THIS!”. Carry on being fabulous! Beth x

P.s. don’t ever underestimate the pure joy that can be found from looking at cute baby animals on YouTube.”

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