My God, It's Full of Stars is more than just the new project of Mae keyboardist Rob Sweitzer. In some ways, it's the reason he's here at all.

Sweitzer joined up with the Virginia-based Mae in 2002 and was a part of the band's rise to prominence within the alternative and indie scene, contributing to all three of their albums released through 2007. But the following year, with Sweitzer in the midst of intraband tension and a yearning to follow his own musical signposts, he decided to leave the band.

It was then that the darkness overcame him. During the next two years, Sweitzer spiraled into a deep depression that persisted even after reuniting with Mae in 2010 and watching the band embark on their farewell tour in 2013. “As the philosopher Schöpenhauer once said, and I paraphrase, my fear of death was outweighed by my fear of living – or, really, the exhaustion of trying and my perceived failure to live," Sweitzer said. "Fortunately, a friend intervened and helped prevent what would have been an irreversible event.”

It was at this harrowing point when Sweitzer began to immerse himself in My God, It's Full of Stars. Inspired by bands like Broken Social Scene and Doves, he drew from a huge cache of previously unfinished demos and created a singular vision for his solo project. He recorded his six-song debut EP M29 in Nashville with Mae bandmate Dave Elkin.

All of the songs are obviously intensely personal to Sweitzer, including "Lightness of Being," which Diffuser is proud to premiere. He told us much of the song stems from a quote by 13th century poet Rumi. "Everything in this song expanded rapidly from a Rumi saying that helped me to see through a time of deep set despair in my life," said Sweitzer. "'The wound is the place where the Light enters you.' There is no such thing as thwarting the painful experiences that life tends to throw across your journey here on Earth, but there is a way through them to the other side where there is understanding and a renewed sense of strength."

Listen to the song below and pre-order M29 here. The EP drops Dec. 18 via Spartan Records.