Gainesville band Driveaway is releasing its new single “I’m Scared and It’s Okay” Friday, a message on mental health awareness inspired by the instrumental power of a rusty old bike.
This will be the indie-pop band’s first single released in 2020 following the September release of “Comparisons.”
The single is a reflection of the struggles faced by those dealing with illness or mental health obstacles, said Driveaway vocalist Trenton Ropp.
“The basic message is just about the initial fear that you get when you’re diagnosed with a serious illness,” he said. “It’s our personal experience of the fear and questions that come with that, but being thankful that you’re at least feeling something instead of nothing.”
The band consists of guitarist Kyle Tapley and brothers Tanner and Trenton Ropp, bassist and vocalist respectively.
Tanner said he got the idea for “I’m Scared and It’s Okay” while riding his old bike home from class. The gears on the bike made a “weird, off-kilter sound” that helped him find the low-tempo beat that started the song.
“I think we tried to be a lot more patient with the writing,” the bassist said. “It’s a bit more of a slow build than our other songs. It focuses more on allowing the lyrics to sort of freeze.”
The lyrics are inspired by some of Trenton’s own personal experiences with mental health, as well as the experiences of his bandmates and those around him. He said the lyrics are, or are inspired by, quotes he has said himself or has heard others express.
“There’s nothing really poetic about the verses because they’re so straightforward,” Trenton said.
Recognizing that many students develop issues with mental health in college, the band wants listeners to be met with a feeling of hope by the end of the song, which ends with the lyrics, “We’ll all be better soon.”
“I'm excited because it's such a patient song,” Trenton said. “It doesn't rely on us playing it with super high energy, it relies on us delivering it with emotional sincerity. We don't have a lot of songs like that.”
Correction: This story has been updated to reflect that that the group has three members. The Alligator originally reported differently.
Contact Chloe Greenberg at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @_chloegreenberg.