W00dy "My Diary" C27 (self-released)

Maybe it’s obvious that W00dy’s music is an outlet for her to explore her lifelong battle with mental illness, as the Pittsburgh artist’s releases are a headlong rush of 160+ BPM releases that leave you feeling like you need to grip the sides of whatever vehicle you’re in as you careen around corners and up and down hills, never quite sure if you’re going to make it through without crashing. While that’s not my suggestion of what it feels like to endure mental illness, I can only imagine that the sufferer’s thought processes are less than linear. The music of My Diary is also less than linear, and also careens at a breakneck pace. But instead of a negative, inward, or self-loathing experience, My Diary is an absolute joy to listen to.

Fully and exuberantly club music, My Diary draws from entries in the titular tome to build a sort-of concept album about living with mental illness. Vocal samples punctuate the gritty techno tracks like they’re half-remembered smears of conversations or arguments, wordless chants that splatter the digital canvas along with the angular beat tectonics. One thing that W00dy doesn’t do: wallow in any sort of self-pity. She’s like a Cornish pixie behind her gear, flitting about and causing mischief and mayhem, maybe a little property damage, but in the end it’s all for the good of the party, for the listeners, for the people in the audience who have tasked W00dy with responsibility of enlightening their evening. W00dy always seems up to the task, and My Diary is no different.