Championing the campaign, Radio 1's Huw Stephens says "Music is a constant, a saviour in the world which is unique to everyone. We all know how much music means to us, and can help us sometimes. The artists involved, sharing their unique cover versions of their personal Torch Songs, are magnificent. The songs strike the right note; give you hope; remind you of the possibilities; remind you you're not alone. We launch Torch Songs with some spectacular talents sharing their intimate Torch Songs with us – it’s a great way to get people talking about talking."
The Vaccines have covered Hope by The Descendents for their Torch Song. "I think every band I have ever been in has covered Hope and it's still one of my favourite songs of all time", says frontman Justin Young. "Growing up listening to punk rock was so empowering and cathartic because of its raw power and anger. Often though, as a young boy, it was hard to relate to lyrically, but this song spoke to me so deeply."
He continues, "Obviously a lot of men find opening up and talking about their struggles and their feelings very difficult. I myself have been told to 'shut the fuck up' by friends when trying to open up, and I think it's a real problem we face."
Other performances include a cover of Everything Reminds Me of Her originally by Elliott Smith, by Blaenavon, and Joni Mitchell's Both Sides Now, by Years & Years. All the covers and more are available to hear on the official Torch Songs YouTube channel, with more to be added over the coming months.
James Scroggs, CALM’s Chair and creator of Torch Songs, said: “It’s normal for all of us to encounter tough times. We also know music is a universally powerful tool to lift the spirits. So we hope Torch Songs provides the inspiration men need to find a way through."
Fans are encouraged to spread awareness by sharing their own Torch Songs online with the hashtag #whatsyourtorchsong.
(Words: Alex Cabré)