“I want my music to be timeless” – Szymon, 1989 – 2012.
Today was to mark his triumphant debut into the Australian music scene.
And it still does, only family, friends and industry associates of Newcastle musician Szymon are left to release his first – and only – album posthumously, after he took his life at the age of 23.
Described by those who knew him as a “bright, brilliant talent” and “fun and adventurous”, self-taught muso Szymon, full name Szymon Borzestowski, poured everything he had into ‘Tigersapp‘, out today via Eloper Music/EMI, even under the weight of mental illness.
Eventually, though, his depression worsened to the point where he second-guessed his interest in music.
In an emotional album trailer, below, Szymon’s brothers Dom and Kubush recall watching him deteriorate.
“Music took a bit of a backseat… he was just never well enough to concentrate, to complete songs like he was doing prior to that. His depressive state disconnected him from doing what he loved and the pain became too much for him in the end,” says Kubush.
To listen to the 12-track LP now, three years after Szymon’s death in December 2012, is equal parts hypnotic and haunting – a bittersweet glimpse into the talents he hoped to share with the world but never would.
Mixed in part by Rusty Santos (Animal Collective, Owen Pallett) and Ian Pritchett (Angus & Julia Stone), it’s layer-upon-layer of deeply-felt lyrics mixed with guitar, bass, woodwind, drums, synth and samples recorded in his humble home-studio.
Early reviews of Tigersapp have been overwhelmingly positive: Rolling Stone gave it 5 stars, Dave Faulkner of Hoodoo Gurus called it “the product of a musician touched by genius” and second single ‘Golden’ already has more than 118,000 streams on Soundcloud.
Curating the album was a cathartic experience for his family, who were determined his talent wouldn’t go unheard.
“We’re doing this for him and we’re doing this as best as we can to honour him… it’s bittersweet,” says younger brother Dom.
Supporting the project from day one was Eloper Music’s Craig Hawker, formerly of EMI, and Mark Holland, of EMI, who were similarly passionate about giving Tigersapp the spotlight it deserves.
Hawker remembers being blown away by Szymon’s sound when his demo landed on his desk.
“There was so much beauty in those original tracks, it kind of just really made us go ‘What the hell is going on here? Who is this?’”
The album’s release marks a proud moment, he says:
“I’d told Szymon that whenever he was ready I would love to put out his music but I never expected that it would be without him here. His music has felt like a secret for a long time now and I’m proud to play a part in helping people to discover and celebrate a young talent’s life and work.”
Szymon’s debut album Tigersapp is out now. Buy it HERE.
If you, or someone you know, is struggling with depression, seek help. Call Lifeline 24/7 on 13 11 14.