• Julia Kai

Cavetown's "Sharpener" Smashes the Mental Health Taboo

Robert Skinner, also known as artist Cavetown, released a moving and emotive new single alongside an animated music video. In his new work, Skinner opens up about his own struggles with mental health and self-harm.


"Sharpener" defies stigma surrounding mental health issues through its lightly layered instrumentation and acoustic chord progression, which help create the intimate and striking energy of the song. Skinner reveals to Dork Magazine, "'Sharpener' is about unhealthy coping mechanisms, the shame surrounding them, and how sometimes the need for them never truly goes away. But what does change is your self-control, and growing up involves replacing these things with healthier alternatives. Even so, the temptation can feel like a parasite hanging on no matter how hard you try to shake it off."


In a world where discussion about unhealthy coping mechanisms and mental illness is a taboo, the vulnerability of "Sharpener" is both refreshing and imperative.

"Ultimately, everyone has the same struggles when we boil it down, even if the details are different," Skinner tells That Music Mag. "That’s what I’m trying to get across with my music. It’s basically just me telling myself what I need to hear."


The "Sharpener" music video features beautifully rendered animations which take the audience on a colorful, imaginative journey through Cavetown's mind and add new importance to the song.


There are times when things may be difficult, but you are not alone. It's important that someone is there to listen and the following hotlines, among others, are here to help:


National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 (24/7)

The Trevor Project: 866-488-7386 (24/7)

National Eating Disorder Association: 1-800-931-2237

National Alliance on Mental Illness: 1-800-950-6264

Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network: 1-800-656-4673 (24/7)

Crisis Text Line: Text SUPPORT to 741-741 (24/7)

Veterans Association: 1-800-273-8255 (24/7)


Listen to "Sharpener" below and let us know what you think.



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