Toronto Musician Makes Waves to Raise Awareness for Mental Health

For decades now, mental health has been a controversial topic that we have been trained to keep quiet about and sweep under the rug. Now that it’s 2020, more and more people are taking back their power by normalizing openly talking about mental health and the importance of prioritizing it. One of these motivated individuals is Alex Southey, 26, a Toronto-based indie-folk musician.

As someone who has personally struggled with mental health as a young person in this modern world, Southey decided to make some moves and shine a light on a common issue he was noticing more frequently. He hopped on RedPine to organize a series of shows with other local artists to raise awareness for mental health. Together, the events make up the #DayLikeItsNightTour, which will be the young artist’s first tour ever. The name of the tour is “a reference to how it feels to be depressed and struggle with mental health,” Southey said.

The proceeds from the tour will be donated to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

"I want my music to resonate with people," Southey told us. He believes the music that he writes will do just that, "not just because it's a relatively popular genre, and the songs are pretty, but because my lyrics unflinchingly document mental health struggles, romance, and living as someone under 30 in today's world."

His voice is soulful and calming like hot tea, and his mellow acoustic guitar compliments it perfectly, but it doesn't stop there. Throughout his collection of releases, he has incorporated many pleasant elements into his songs including horns, female harmonies, clapping, and violin. It all gives us major Damien Rice and Andrew Bird energy.

Southey's music has also been compared to Bon Iver, Glen Hansard, Nick Drake, and Wilco. The other artists who will be joining him on the majority of the tour are Pickford (compared to Bright Eyes, Elliot Smith, and Taylor Swift), and Phillip Vonesh, who Southey described as "somewhere between Jackson Browne pop stuff and modern country-folk."

Some special guests who will be sprinkled across the tour include Wes Fowler ("a less poppy Ed Sheeran,") Daniel Fishbayn (compared to Nick Drake and M. Ward), and Laurena Segura (compared to She & Him, and Arcade Fire), Southey said. This tour sounds like the ultimate indie-coffee-shop playlist.

The party will officially begin next Thursday, January 30th, at the Painted Lady on Ossington in Toronto. This is also the release date of Southey's brand new album, You're Not Just a Body to Me. The project will be out on all streaming platforms.

"It's a real thrill to be able to play such a revered venue, central to the Toronto music scene," Southey said.

The rest of the dates include:

  • Toronto, Amsterdam Bicycle Club, February 7th
  • Montreal, Barfly, February 28th
  • Montreal, L'Escalier, February 29th
  • Toronto, Alchemy, March 2nd
  • Toronto, Tranzac, March 13th
  • Toronto, Amsterdam Bicycle Club, March 23rd
  • Toronto, Horseshoe Tavern, March 30th
The #DayLikeItsNightTour will be documented live on the RedPine Instagram stories. You can follow along at @redpineofficial, as well as at Southey's Instagram, @alexsoutheymusic.

"RedPine has made planning the tour much, much easier. It facilitates every part of the tour process," Southey said. He told us that he appreciates the features including creating a ticket-landing page, creating a ticketing system, and the artist profiles.

Tickets for the shows are available on RedPine, and the Facebook events can be found on Alex Southey's Facebook page.

A note from Alex Southey:
"I want to just take this opportunity to say, in writing, in an officially released statement, how much I appreciate not only the other artists who automatically jumped on board, but also any and all audience folks who've bought tickets and will buy tickets. This matters. It's small right now, but who knows? Maybe in five years, if we keep doing it, and anyone of us has a modicum of success, it could grow into something substantial. 

Next year, depending on my working situation, I'm definitely going to try and make it an all-across-Canada thing. An artist I befriended, Dear Father (think City & Colour), provided the impetus for this tour. He did maybe three to four dates in a few cities in very early 2019. I played one of those dates, coincidentally, at the Painted Lady. Without his inspiration, I never would've taken up the reigns myself and grown it (modestly) like I have. So, Ted - Dear Father - if you read this, thank you, and thanks to Cats Cove Media who facilitated that tour."

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