By: Nicholas Girard
Everyone carries their own baggage and what sets people apart is how they carry it. Mental health and self care is very important for college students, as they are forced to adapt to new lifestyles. If given the opportunity, would you vocalize your feelings for anyone to hear?
Shane Muir, a junior with a Communications Media major, released a self-made, nine-track album titled, Until. Performing under the name Galeer, he sings about the major transitions in his life. Missing the ones you love, dealing with hardships head-on, and fearing what the future has to come. He recorded the album by himself over the course of this year. Each track features some emotionally charged lyrics paired with bright and warm melodies. “I usually wrote when I was in the moment, feeling something,” Shane said. “I just dropped everything and started, you know, trying to write words down on paper, write what I was feeling.”
Shane is a member of WXPL, the student radio station at Fitchburg State, and has been playing music for years. “I get influenced by a lot of solo work, artists who do a lot of their music on their own.” A lot of students are musically involved in the campus community. From musical theater, to choir, or even a cappella!
But only a select few students compose music and release it on their own. A number of student bands have started and failed during their years attending the school. It takes a lot of self discipline and hard-work to record and release your own music. “I didn't really have anyone directly help me with the music. A lot of it was by myself. But, moral support played into it a lot.”
Having support from your friends is always vital and Shane Muir is not shy of this support. The third track, “Constellation” was written with the help of student Emily O’Neill. She graced the track with her vocal work. “I'm influenced strongly by a lot of artists and it comes in waves,” Emily said, “Shane's been way more confident about his music and more focused on not so much other influences, but like, his own influence.” Fellow friend Hannah Geiger talks of her support. “He was texting me, ‘do you think I should make this?’ I said yes of course! You know, he's always been there for me, so I'm obviously going to be there for him.” Many of his peers have nothing but motivating words to say of Galeer.
Iain Brouwer, former roommate of Shane, reflects on his times with Shane. “I would always hear him playing certain riffs that ended up making its way into the album. I would drum along to it on my bed sometimes.” Iain has been drumming for years, involving himself in numerous bands and projects. “Once he released it, I felt like I wanted to help him out in any way.” Iain is working as part of a four-piece live band featuring Mr. Galeer himself.
Landon Callahan, guitarist in the group, has also been a constant support for Shane. “I have always been passionate about music instead of sports, or video games and stuff. So when I met Shane, he was also kind of like that. Where he just likes to listen to music and make music just to be creative.”
With fellow student Nick Polidor on bass, the four plan to start playing songs live from the album. “I'm really happy that these guys are so invested in the idea of making this music happen as a full band,” Shane said, “There's no more rewarding feeling than working with people who want to do the same thing you want to do. You have a common goal, making it work out and sound good.”
Galeer, as described by Shane, was a nickname that stemmed from an older nickname, and so on. But, “galeer,” is an Estonian term for “cargo ship.” The ship is symbolic to any person with fears and anxieties. They carry their own baggage, like cargo on a ship. Naturally, a ship would have workers, friends and supporters that turn you in the right direction. “I was impressed that he recorded that whole album by himself,” said Landon, “It takes a lot of self discipline to finish something and put it out there, rather than keeping it to yourself.” Galeer is an expression of Shane’s deepest emotions. His music is an effort to reach out to listeners, to see if they feel the same way. “I just want people to know my music and have it affect them in some way. Maybe they can relate to it, like I do with the artists I listen to.” His efforts and work has really shown, and his support does not stop at his friends.
“Until” can be found on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/62f1ZytxqL3oIar70TBRVa?si=VYgwG_ARREChx6J3i25Fxg
You can directly support Shane by buying the album on Bandcamp for any price, here: https://galeer.bandcamp.com/