Hospital Song /// Spencer Brill

Of the many lessons that could have been learned from a global pandemic, maintaining a healthy perspective on life should have been chief among them. All of us were vaulted into a type of chaotic uncertainty of which we had no frame of reference for. But, as is often a symptom of the human condition, we seek out what’s most important to us when our days appear the bleakest. Inspired by his hospitalization with COVID-19, Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Spencer Brill’s debut single, “Hospital Song,” not only vividly portrays being a patient, but is driven by finding a new lease on life. 

Starting with the basics, Brill details his particular COVID symptoms: loss of smell, a dulled sense of taste and shortness of breath. However, he goes a step further by describing in a tactile manner how restless it was to be confined to a hospital bed with “scratchy, sterile sheets.” In addition, the virus’ respiratory invasion is described as akin to “spiders” marching their way through the walls of your lungs. 

Each chorus of “breathe in, breathe out” is a riffing, indie rock, breathing exercise. It’s a lead-in to Brill committing a new outlook on life if he’s able to overcome this health challenge. It’s a moment of when the breath of life is being snatched from you and what runs through your mind when you’re struggling to catch it again. 

“Hospital Song” makes sure to acknowledge the courageous efforts of the weary nurses, donning “garbage hazmat suits,” who served on the frontlines of the pandemic. It’s also keenly aware of its surroundings, recounting the tones of medical equipment as well as overhearing “loved ones leaving voicemails for the dead.” Through the sights and sounds of a COVID ward, it represents how the pandemic, at its height, was not only a time of great loss for many, but of immeasurable courage for those called to duty. 

Altogether, “Hospital Song” is about finding your strength amidst great hardship. Through his experience with COVID, Spencer Brill discovered that tomorrow is not promised to any of us. In the process, “Hospital Song” becomes an anthem for renewing your individual perspective. 

Written by Travis Boyer






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