Uboa’s new album provides music detailing depression

Steven Lee

Uboa’s music reflects her inner struggle with depression and her transgender identity. Photo credit: Uboa’s bandcamp site

Misery, the purest form of sadness, is something that each and every human that has come and will come will experience. 

It is an inextricable part of the human psyche, hidden deep in the folds of the human until it awakens. 

Misery is something extremely difficult to understand and explain unless one has experienced it. 

Sharing to someone how it feels to have that deep black coldness inside you, building towards something sinister can be hard. 

Several artists have attempted to undergo this explanation through their artwork. 

Those that have elicited a visceral response from me have been few, but have stuck with me through my entire life. 

Such pieces like Francisco Goya’s haunting Black Paintings, or Junji Ito’s gory and cringe inducing Tomi

One of them, as I have barely finished listening to the album for the third time, is Uboa’s Origin of My Depression.

Uboa is the stage name of the Australian drone, ambient and noise music artist, Xandra Metcalfe. 

Metcalfe has expressed that her music reflects her inner struggle with depression and with her transgender identity. 

Metcalfe expressed that her songs were meant to evoke her feelings of a, “mistaken identity, failed relationships and inability to love, joblessness, boredom, structurelessness, psychosis…[and] anxiety.” 

All of these dark feelings are contained in this intense forty-minute journey into the deepest parts of Metcalfe’s mind. 

Readers beware, I don’t try to exaggerate any of my feelings about the album. 

This is genuinely one of the darkest albums that I have ever heard, at some points becoming uncomfortable at some points. 

If themes of anxiety, depression or suicide upset you, please turn away.

Metcalfe only uses a few instruments in this album, the most notable ones being the acoustic strings that are honestly beautiful at times, such the first half of Epilation Joy. 

But curiously enough, the strings were the only thing that have any semblance of being pleasant at all. 

 “These noises give the image of solitary confinement in a hospital, locked away from any friendly eyes, and suffering.” 

The other instruments, faint xylophone notes and clanging, chaotic piano are used to build a mounting sense of dread. 

Those which lead to the main sound of the album, ambient clanging of machinery, chains, noise that only serves to drag the listener deeper into Metcalfe’s most sinister parts of her consciousness. 

These noises give the image of solitary confinement in a hospital, locked away from any friendly eyes, and suffering. 

This does lead to some tracks that having more of a similar sound in them, a start with natural instruments that descends into a chaos of sounds. 

My biggest issue with the album would be that after listening to the first few songs you can predict how the music will go.

Origin of My Depression isn’t something that you would listen on your commute to morning classes. 

It’s not something to be lightly taken, another song on your Spotify playlist. 

I’ll admit, some songs are difficult to listen to, not only because of their content, but the squealing noises and loud static did force me to take off my headphones due to the chaos of sounds. 

But overall, if you’re looking for an album that can make you squirm and can make you feel as if you’re locked in a straitjacket in a dark room with hands pulling you apart like stitches on a doll, I heavily recommend Uboa’s Origin of My Depression.