All too often we use music as a conduit for our emotions without much regard for the intensely personal path the writer/performer is on when it is created. Selfishly, this is the purpose of most art, to make us feel something; anything. Yet, we tend to appear shocked when the artist is revealed to experience deeply rooted sentiment, emotion, or in some cases, medically diagnosed depression.

In an effort to pull back the curtain, not in some self-serving manner, but to seek healing himself and offer a sense of guiding light to others, Bay Area native singer/songwriter Jesse Loren Strickman (Dear Indugu and Willow Steps) released his debut single under his own name on Friday April 30, 2022, National Honesty Day.

“Falling Astronaut” is the lead single from what will be Strickman’s highly anticipated debut full-length album. Plucking the song from the cosmos we’re introduced by way of flowing, swelling harmony before being anchored by piano and strings, much in the vein and vision from the Bay Area artist’s prior works, as waypoints of reflective songwriting keep us following the soaring message through a darkness. This single, however, is a painfully honest reflection of a real journey to find one’s self. Speaking to the track, Strickman says “in our deepest pain we grow the most and in darkness light is most potent. I make music to guide people back to the light because that’s what music has always done for me.”  Just as we came, we’re gently laid back on terra firma by the fading harmony of which we first met this lovely track. The song moves in and out of the silence while gently reveling the pain and healing of the journey.

Jesse Loren Strickman’s “Falling Astronaut” is a reminder that light exists, but darkness does not. Darkness is merely the absence of light. The illuminating songwriting and execution of Strickman is incredibly introspective, yet able to be that for whatever path you may be on. It makes us feel. That matters.