When Langhorne Slim took the stage at Ardmore Music Hall for Philly Music Fest, he described the event as “beauty in the madness;” an opportunity for musicians to come together and be acquainted with a music venue for the first time in months and support the music education nonprofits benefiting from the event. During the “madness” of COVID-19 and following a tornado that decimated parts of his neighborhood two weeks prior to the start of the pandemic, Slim began writing his most personal and revealing project, his upcoming album Strawberry Mansion.  

On the record, set to be released January 29, Slim shares his struggles with debilitating anxiety and depression, but similar to his sentiments at Philly Music Fest, the album is not discussing these challenges in a negative light, but rather using his experience to share the hope and beauty that came with his journey to recovery. 

Slim performed a handful of songs from the record during his intimate performance at Ardmore Music Hall, including its first single “Mighty Soul.” The track speaks directly to the experience leading up to when Slim began writing for the first time in over a year and emphasizes finding hope within ourselves. “Someday the world might come and blow your house down / First a tornado then a plague / Let us use our hands to help and hold / Let us pour love into the Mighty Soul.” 

Langhorne Slim at Philly Music Fest | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

The record became a cathartic release for Slim as well as an opportunity for him to channel his message of connecting with one another, especially during these times. According to a press release:

“The whole process proved to be a great gift and emotionally liberating. Slim realized that others shared many of the same experiences, insecurities and fears and perhaps he could help bring people together by sharing his own and offering some of his observations. He addresses these subjects head on, including anxiety (‘Panic Attack’), loneliness and isolation (‘Lonesome Times’), longing nostalgia (‘Strawberry Mansion’), compassion and connection (‘Morning Prayer’), complicity (‘Blood On Yer Lips’), greed, (‘High-Class’) and most important of all, hope (‘Mighty Soul’).”

This new project from Slim encapsulates this attitude of finding hope within distress, and that speaking about these personal experiences opens room for others to follow suit.

Listen to “Mighty Soul” below. Slim’s upcoming record Strawberry Mansion is available for preorder here.