alex henry foster looking over a city at dusk

Alex Henry Foster

Alex Henry Foster may still be best known as the singer for Montreal band Your Favorite Enemies, but his reputation as a solo artist is soaring on the wings of his recently released live album Standing Under Bright Lights. The record captures the first performance of material from his debut solo album, 2018’s Windows in the Sky. Foster played the album in its entirety with an 11-piece band as part of the Montreal Jazz Fest in 2019, a concert that was meant to be a one-off but eventually led to performances in New York City and across Europe.

Foster initially didn’t want to perform the songs from Windows in the Sky due to their extremely personal nature. They were written as he was emerging from a depression, brought about by the death of his father and by a longtime struggle with anxiety that tainted his time with Your Favorite Enemies. The album was conceived at the end of a stay in Tangier, Morocco, where Foster fled band life to deal with the issues that had been plaguing him — he was supposed to be there for three months, and wound up staying for two years.

The singer-songwriter now looks at promoting his solo work, written and performed partly for therapeutic purposes, as a platform for shining a light on mental illness. Earlier this year, the former social worker and activist raised money for Suicide Action Montreal with the sale of masks bearing the words “Alive.Never Alone.” The endeavour was undertaken in the wake of the suicide of a friend in France, which further inspired Foster to share his own story about how he spiralled and how he healed.

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