Local singer/songwriter Breanna Elaine raises awareness of addiction


Before meeting Breanna Elaine, I might have said there were no rock stars in Vermont. I was wrong.

Being a rock star has less to do with music and more to do with attitude and confidence. Breanna’s not lacking in either. The Brandon resident is also a very talented singer, musician, and songwriter, periodically performing at Red Clover and numerous other venues in the region. 

Breanna made a bold step, leaving her day job in 2022 to strike out in the music biz. She’s worked with A Sound Space, a Rutland recording studio and music center, on a number of her projects, always at the helm and not afraid to make tough decisions. Her first album, Seedlings, dropped on January 1, 2023. 

This year she has a new project.

MOTIVATED BY THE loss of a dear friend, Brandon resident Breanna Elaine is embarking on a campaign to raise awareness about addiction through her music. She will donate proceeds from the campaign to Turning Point, a nonprofit that helps people recover from substance abuse.

Inspired by her friend Jeremy who died of a drug overdose, Breanna Elaine’s newest project hopes to raise awareness and challenge the stigma around addiction.

“I want to flip the grief I’m dealing with and make some kind of a positive difference in the community,” said Breanna, who is seeking to directly support individuals in need of addiction treatment services. She will be donating a portion of her Where the Snakes Live campaign to Turning Point, a non-profit that helps people recover from substance abuse. 

“We may not have been able to save Jeremy and so many others who have died from this terrible disease, but we can come together now and help others like them get the help they need.”

With the opioid epidemic’s effects only growing more widespread, she hopes that the message within the song and music video will connect with those in recovery or who have lost loved ones to addiction. 

Jeremy was someone she knew from her days living in Northampton, Massachusetts. “He was sweet, funny and we always had a good time hanging out together. He could be a pain and cause a lot of trouble, but he was good in his heart.”

Before writing Where the Snakes Live, Breanna recorded a song for Jeremy’s funeral. “I wasn’t sure I could get up and sing it at the funeral, so I wanted to have something palatable and sweet and appropriate for family members.”

Where the Snakes Live speaks more to her own emotions. “It’s a little edgier and darker. It’s me processing and speaking to him.” Breanna enlisted the help of Vermont’s own Bow Thayer, chosen for his approach to music, but also because he could relate to losing friends to drugs.

“I’d already been thinking of ways to entice Bow into being my mentor…We listened to the song a bunch of times together and I think he could hear what I was looking for. It’s kind of bluegrass but gritty at the same time.”

After recording the song, she had a vision for the music video. “I saw the music video in my mind and wrote down all these details.”

She’s hoping to reach beyond Vermont with her message. “I want this to be something that would have been meaningful for Jeremy, but also something bigger.” At the same time, she wants to keep it local. 

“I looked through different charities and Turning Point seemed smaller and less corporate. I felt like the money I gave to them would actually help people.” She is impressed by how many different services they offer. “If I can be another advocate and help fight some of the stigma, that would be great. Turning Point has an event ‘Stomping Out Stigma,’ and the more I thought about how judgmental people are, the more I wanted to get involved.”

She is using a crowdfunding program called Indiegogo and is trying to raise $10,000 for the overall project. “This is not just a representation of me and my art, but also Jeremy, his friends, and Turning Point. I want it to be a quality production, not just something I did in my backyard.”

Breanna sees this as a bigger part of who she is, where she is going, and her contributions to the world.

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