‘You Can Wear Your Heart On Your Sleeve, Even If It’s Broken,’ And Other Notes On Vulnerability With Band VOILÀ

VOILÀ, Luke Eisner, Gus Ross, being vulnerable, music, music industry

In our vulnerability, we are strong. This is something I’ve learned over the past few years, and a topic that comes up in my writing again and again. What does it mean to be vulnerable? Vulnerability is opening layers of your heart for others to see. It’s letting someone in, despite your past pain and fear. It’s trusting, even when that’s terrifying. It’s loving without worrying about old relationships.

And for band VOILÀ, it’s sharing the broken and imperfect pieces of yourself with the world, through music, to help others heal.

I’ve always been a music fan. For me, music is simply poetry with a melody—all the words in my head with an added rhythm, chorus, or beat. Songs come alive in ways writing itself can simply not reach, so when I get to talk to artists, when I interview creators, and when I learn the passion and openness behind their craft, I’m so inspired.

Last week I had the pleasure of chatting with VOILÀ, an up-and-coming pop-rock duo from Southern California comprised of Luke Eisner and Gus Ross. After listening to their newest releases, ‘Hundredth Second Chance’ (which, by the way is soooo relatable for anyone finding themselves in an on-again-off-again relationship) and ‘Lately,’ I knew I had to ask them questions about the importance of being raw in music, and how/why they were so willing and fearless in sharing their (broken) hearts with the world.

“Lyrics are the most important thing,” Eisner said to jump right in. With a background in poetry, he spoke to how he used influences from literature to fuel his creativity, and combined with Ross’ ear for melodic sounds they were able to create tracks that not only resonated with listeners, but made them want to hit repeat again and again.

Both of the songs dig deep. With lyrics about the slow fading out of once perfect relationship in ‘Lately’:

“I’d come over and take a seat
But your clothes took over where it used to be
Now all of my favorite things I have a hard time remembering
Are your eyes blue or green?”

And the messy spiral of up and down love in ‘Hundredth Second Chance,‘:

“I think I’ve had enough of you
I don’t have time for you
I don’t want to see this through
Had it with the things you do
I think I’ve had enough of you
I don’t have time for you
I don’t want to see this through
But maybe, just maybe
One more dance
Little bit of romance
Go ahead and take my hand
A hundredth second chance.”

It’s clear that these guys speak from the heart, and with another single that discusses depression, among other painfully beautifully songs in their album, I asked them why they felt it was important to share this raw side of themselves.

“When I was going through depression, I was listening to music,” Eisner said, “And that was the light at the end of the tunnel.”

Simply put—the music was his avenue for healing and he wanted to take that and their goal as a band was to recreate that healing for someone else in the same position.

“When you’ve been through something, you want to give that remedy to someone else, so the song can belong to them and not just you,” Eisner said.

The songs were both of their experiences, they said, but no longer belonged to them. In writing through their most painful moments and putting them out there through music, they were able to pass that healing on.

For me, this resonated deeply. So much of art (music, writing, poetry, painting, etc.) stems from the most aching parts of our lives.

We create, simply to make sense of our experiences, to fight through them, to survive. And then as we heal and share those bruised parts with everyone around us through our creation, we give others that same healing, too.

Ross spoke to this, saying, “Whatever’s wrong, out of place, discontent—you make that into something you can shout about. Our obstacles unite us. Everyone who feels a certain thing—negative or positive—has a common ground.”

That’s so true. And something I think we only realize when we begin to be more open and share what hurts with other people.

Only when be really get vulnerable do we find that we’re not alone, that others are struggling, too.

Eisner spoke to this further, saying how music creates a community: “When you’re able to bring yourself together over music you realize you’re not depression, not whatever anxiety you have. You’re a member of the team who’s also struggling. You’re not defined by it.

When you’re sad you feel alienated, you don’t know how to explain it, you’re not confident in showing it. But when you see other people singing about it, or liking that music, you find a community,” he said.

“You can wear your heart on your sleeve, but it’s okay if it’s a broken one too.”

I love this. Hearing this powerful line was both a reminder and affirmation that it’s okay to share pieces of ourselves with the world, it’s okay to be messy, it’s okay to be in process of healing and not have it all figured out.

In my writing, this is something I wrestle with. I strive for perfection and understanding; I want to show only the best pieces of myself…but sometimes (almost all the time, really) I create the best art when I allow myself to be vulnerable, and open, and raw, and real. Even when it hurts.

“The concept of showing your scars and being proud of them is something we’ve really tried to embrace in this record,” Ross said. And I couldn’t agree more.

VOILÀ’s songs share a deep rawness—you’re not only experiencing good music, but music that comes from a broken, beautiful place.

Because in the most broken of places is where healing begins and we find our footing.

“And that’s what music gives to other people,” Ross said, “The ability to rise.” Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Marisa is a writer, poet, & editor. She is the author of Somewhere On A Highway, a poetry collection on self-discovery, growth, love, loss and the challenges of becoming.

Keep up with Marisa on Instagram, Twitter, Amazon and marisadonnelly.com

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