Thao Covers Bjork’s “Human Behavior” In Support Of Sounds of Saving

May marks Mental Health Awareness Month, and to help raise awareness for the importance of good mental health for everyone, Sounds of Saving, in collaboration with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, has shared the first of 2 planned releases in their acclaimed “Song That Found Me At The Right Time” series. Engaging with musicians, the series reveals how a song found each artist at the right time. The video features a cover performance of the song, as well as an interview about how each has coped and even thrived in the face of psychological struggles and emotional crisis. 

SoS sat down with Thao (formerly of Thao & The Get Down Stay Down) for a discussion about Bjork’s “Human Behavior.”  They share: “We’ve been fans of Thao Nguyen since her days with the Get Down Stay Down.  And we were captivated by the intimacy and vulnerability she shared in her and her mother’s stories in her short doc ‘Nobody Dies’ and the album ‘Temple,’ which both address her Vietnamese heritage and coming out as queer. All this, alongside a love of her incredible talent as a songwriter and performer, make it a piece we are excited to share especially during Mental Health Awareness Month and AAPI Heritage Month.”   

Thao says: “I chose Bjork’s ‘Human Behavior’ because to me it marks a renewal and a revival of my own interest in music, in my own recommitment to the joy of music. Growing up, most of the access to music I had was only the radio. I didn’t have an in to music that wasn’t easily accessible to me, you know? And so to choose a song that I don’t know that well by an artist that I don’t know that well, but whose energy and whose commitment and devotion to music is so well known, it was a great opportunity to embody the difference that I’m looking for.”

Sounds of Saving created the “Song that Found Me At The Right Time” in 2019 to help promote honest, intimate conversations about mental health.  They emphasize the impact of music of all genres on human connection, coping during difficult times and maintaining mental wellbeing.  For every one person that dies by suicide, 316 people think seriously about suicide but go on to live out their lives. These are untold stories that must be shared. During the pandemic approximately 1 in 4 young adults has had suicidal thoughts. 

Past collaborations for “Song that Found Me At The Right Time” include Bartees Strange (The National’s “About Today”), Grammy-nominated Allison Russell (Tracey Chapman’s “Behind The Wall”), Noga Erez (Anderson .Paak’s’ “Who R U?”), Langhorne Slim covering Cat Stevens’ “Here Comes My Baby,” Cassandra Jenkins who performed her take on Eartheater’s “Faith Consuming Hope,” and Sharon Van Etten lent her voice to the series with her version of Nine Inch Nails’ “Hurt.” They have also worked with Adia Victoria  (Erykah Badu’s “On and On,)”  Black Belt Eagle Scout (Grouper’s “Heavy Water / I’d Rather Be Sleeping”). lyricist/ producer/ vocalist KeiyaA (Jazmine Sullivan’s “Silver Lining”), Jamie Lidell who covered Sly and The Family Stone’s “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin), and Kate Davis who recorded a take on Daniel Johnstons “Too Young To Die.”

Photo Courtesy: Charlie Gross