Chelsea Silva steps to the “Frontline” of physical and emotional turmoil on her new guitar-driven ballad

“I know it’s hard, but can you breathe? Count to ten, please follow me” are the opening lines of a song that landed in my inbox one fine afternoon.

I empathise with these words. And I think we’ve all experienced that panicky feeling caused by a challenging situation at least once in our lives. Yet, we still don’t know how to tackle that difficult topic in our hectic times.

So I want you all to hear Chelsea Silva’s song “Frontline”. Because it sets a good example of how to talk about mental health: with no shame.


When the 22-year-old Sydney-based singer/songwriter sent me her latest single for consideration, I couldn’t wait for its official release on streaming platforms.

I believe this emotive story with beautiful, compelling vocals can be the metaphoric “light in the tunnel” for anyone going through a rough patch in life.

“Writing this song wasn’t easy. I had to look through all the light and dark parts of myself to truly capture my personal experience of mental health”, shared the singer in her press release. And it’s not the first time the alternative indie/pop artist offered intimate details of her life.

Like the artists she’s inspired by, Dodie Clark and Alec Benjamin, Chelsea Silva writes multi-dimensional songs.

They might be catchy and melodic on the outside. But they’re not an easy listen, lyrically speaking. That’s because she can go from light and graceful to dark and rebellious in a blink of an eye.

Showing both the beautiful and ugly parts of modern society through her music is how Chelsea sees her role as an artist.

Her previous releases, “Hades Has A Daughter” and “Illegal Eyes”, already gave a hint of her unique lyrical style. In the songs’ narration, she frequently interweaves stories of difficult personal experiences, like perseverance, grief, abuse or misogyny.

That melancholy is also the driving force behind the new track.

“Frontline”, released on January 31st, was produced by Paul Aidan and David Skeet, who collaborated with Chelsea on “Hades Has A Daughter”. However, unlike that previous, up-tempo single, the new track is a pretty guitar-driven ballad.

The song’s theme required a slower composition. “Frontline” highlights the ebbs and flows of physical and emotional turmoil brought on by mental illness.

Chelsea went even further in explaining what the song means to her. She compared it to a battlefield “on which the war for freedom and control over one’s body and mind is fought.”

I’m particularly impressed by the young singer’s ample vocal range on this track. It perfectly matches the lyrics.

Her voice rises and falls in different parts, emphasising her vulnerability and the internal struggle portrayed in the song.

At one point, she expresses confusion, “I am thinking of nothing / But my head’s afraid of everything.”

Then, it sounds as if she were desperate and impatient to find the answer to a burning question, “My hands are ready for the frontline / But when do I hear the whistle sound?”

And she finishes the song on a calmer note, singing “If the words I say were written on my skin / Would I be kinder or be silent for a long time? / I don’t know.”

It’s good to see a gentle melody take priority over rich instrumentation in a song that tackles life’s fragility. There’s nothing that can express that emotional state better than a beautiful, soaring vocal.

Plus, the subtle, delicate piano and guitar parts in the background only amplify the track’s overall message.

“I hope that sharing my song (…) will help other people realise that they are not alone in their struggle for a better and healthier future for themselves“, offered the artist.

I’m pretty sure that her reminder to take care of yourself, both physically and mentally, will make this many listeners’ favourite mental health anthem.

Hear the single below:

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