There is an elegant ease to Toronto’s Alex Southey‘s sophomore album You’re Not Just A Body to Me.
Released on January 30, Southey’s alternative folk album sets the bar for divergent Canadian folk in a new era. But that is not the only gem on this album. What actually stands out is how he uses such sounds to edge onto delicate conversations around mental illness.
As cathartic as falling rain, You’re Not Just A Body to Me feels like pushing through the struggle, whether it’s the day to day grind or the act of getting out of bed when it doesn’t feel worth it.
But this is not to say that the album is completely marked by melancholic. You’re Not Just A Body to Me feels like sympathy, like someone you love reaching out to you and saying that it’s all going to be ok.
In fact, these feelings of sympathy and of working through mental health issues like depression are evident through songs like “Leaving the Place,” in which the effort to move forward is audibly tangible.
Indeed, Southey taps into something that few musicians dare to do. Using his own struggles with mental illness as a guide, and in carrying on the conversation from his first album Christmastown, Southey maps a way forward and creates an image of a way to learn to live with mental illness. Through his music, Southey is normalizing discussions around mental illness and is turning them into a strength by creating profound music inspired by his own life. There is determined etched into every guitar strum, every note that Southey breathes to life.
But Southey doesn’t end his mission there. All sales of You’re Not Just A Body to Me will go towards CAMH the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, in Toronto, Canada. The album can be purchased on Bandcamp and streamed through Spotify.
Also, be sure to follow Alex Southey on Instagram for all of his latest news and releases.