Bees In My Head

Cover art for Bees In My Head by Bransby and Andre Louis, picture shows a confused-looking Bransby in a colourful garden full of bees

Towards the latter half of 2021 I started struggling with my mental health. Anxiety and depression built up and by the end of the year I had a pretty spectacular mental health breakdown. I've been open about this, I've even made some vlogs about it with my partner Dawn. Vlogs are all well and good but they are not where I express myself creatively. It was sort of inevitable that, after a period of recovery, and only when I felt able, that I would make some music about this. Those moments where I've felt really overwhelmed by every day events I've found that the best way to describe it is as "bees in my head" - it's a noise, or rather the cumulative noise of lots of thoughts and feelings, and it feels impossible to control. That's where this title comes from, I'll let the actual lyrics say the rest as it's the best way I've found of explaining, describing and working out those feelings.

Having come up with some basic ideas lyrically, it was a bit surprising to find that the music I wrote to match it was a relatively upbeat, albeit slightly quirky waltz. Whilst I was puzzling this out an old friend, Andre Louis, reached out to me asking if I wanted to collaborate with him on something, as Bees In My Head was currently in progress I asked if he wanted to contribute. Andre is a fantastic keyboardist and whilst he'd have been much better with the piano on this than I was, the fact was that I'd already recorded keyboards I was happy with. I knew though that Andre's keyboard skills worked brilliantly for "finger-drumming" - the art of using a MIDI keyboard to trigger drum samples. He's able to play a sampled drum kit with the same skill and expression as a drummer sat at a real kit. It's a rare skill and one I hoped he could bring to the track. He delivered in spades. I loved how his drumline, the speedy flashing across the kit, particularly across the cymbals and higher toms, matched perfectly with the concept of bees busily buzzing about. We did all this virtually with Andre in London and me in Chester, sharing files and mixes over the internet. I've never done that before so it was exciting and a huge relief that it worked as well as it did.

You can listen to Bees In My Head and read the lyrics below.

  1. Bees In My Head (feat Andre Louis) Bransby 5:00

There are bees in my head
And I wish I was dead sometimes
One is a wasp and it's counting the cost
Of these lines
Then there's this dog and he's trying to hog my attention
He's making me see that there's nowt wrong with me
I just need some sunshine with fresh air I'll be fine

But there's bees in my head

When there's nothing left and my soul is bereft
I need time
At the end of the day it's an effort to say
that I'm fine
The pressure in here though is something to fear
It's alarming
I just need a break coz my brain is opaque
But it's clearing

And there's bees in my head

The jolly green giant is finding me pliant
He's compressing my spine
I'm pretending I'm fine
Florence Nightingale is plying me with ale
But she pours from her knee cos she has her own bees
Can we leave soon? it's no fun in this bathroom
But I'm staying calm with a little self harm
As god is my witness I'll shake off this tinnitus
reclaim my zen and be happy again

But there's bees in my head

The depths that I've plumbed
May appear moribund
But it's passing
There are lessons to learn
From emotions that churn
And I'll learn them
My jiggling knee is a signal to me
That you're boring
This anxiety is a strange energy
But I've got lots to spare and it shows that I care

For these bees in my head

My mind's on the take and this niceness is fake
But I'm glad that you buy these impressions I make
With such obligation comes endless frustration
There's always one more it's relentless there's more

But all this too shall pass
Ups and downs don't last