ALEX HENRY FOSTER & The Long Shadows

Alex Henry Foster (AHF) is a Canadian musician, singer, author, producer, and composer, best known as the frontman of Juno Awards nominee Post-Rock / Noise band Your Favorite Enemies (YFE).

On November 9, 2018, Foster released a first solo music project, an intimate poetry essay about finding peace, faith and hope through the context of grief, depression, and distress.

About

ALEX HENRY FOSTER & WINDOWS IN THE SKY

“For a son, a father’s death is often the end of innocence, and the illusions that come with it,” says Alex Henry Foster. He speaks from experience: the loss of his own father in 2016 prompted him to put his group, successful Montreal underground rock collective Your Favorite Enemies, on ice and hole up in Morocco, trying to make sense of his loss and the ways that the world felt differently now. This “emotional detox” led him to the songs that would compose his debut solo album Windows In The Sky, chronicling his dark nights of the soul, and taking the listener on a journey through grief and confusion that’s as uplifting as it is challenging, and as honest and powerful as any you’re going to experience this year.

For Foster, music has always been a refuge, a gateway to other worlds. His father’s Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath albums and his mother’s old rock’n’roll singles provided escape from the realities of growing up poor in Montreal. “That town does not treat poor people well,” he says. “I come from a difficult background, very blue collar. Music kept us together as a family. It was the most beautiful gift I could have received. My parents had nothing, and, in music, they gave me everything.”

Foster’s own dedication was absolute: in his teens, he’d rather eat from cans than waste money on a decent meal that he could be spending on records. With a guitar-playing colleague he met as a social worker after graduation, he formed Your Favorite Enemies. Inspired by groups like Fugazi, they were fiercely Do-It-Yourself, operating from a former Catholic church in Drummondville they’d transformed into a recording studio, scoring Juno nominations at home and plaudits abroad for their four albums. But after his father passed away in 2016, Foster stepped away and relocated to Tangier, to come to terms with his loss, and make sense of his life.
His relationship with his father was complex. “He was this big guy, 6’4, 2-300 pounds, who I’d always admired as a kid, and despised as a teenager. He’d been an alcoholic when I was growing up. He was searching for himself, in a way I maybe understand now. Then he became a born-again Christian when I was a teenager, and that didn’t sit well with me. I wasn’t that keen to forget the baggage we had.”

They hadn’t spoken in five years when his father got in contact in July 2016. He was seriously ill. “He looked so physically diminished, so weak and fragile,” Foster remembers. “Everything we’d never resolved became so vivid to me. I had so many things I wanted to know and understand, before he died.” His father, however, believed his god would heal him. And while Foster sought the conversations that might establish that connection with his father he craved, the man himself was more focused on a salvation that ultimately wouldn’t arrive. He passed away a week later.

Four days afterwards, Your Favorite Enemies headlined the Ho Hai Yan Festival in Taiwan. “It was the biggest audience we’d ever played to. And all I could think was, ‘This is wrong, I can’t be here, I can’t commune with these people, I have nothing to give. I just lost my father.’ Afterwards, I told the band, ‘I cannot do this anymore. There’s something broken inside me; I need to be by myself and figure myself out.’ I was on a self-destructive path, emotionally.”

Tangier offered the isolation and anonymity Foster craved. “I needed a place where I could be sad and not bump into someone who knows me,” he says. He took inspiration from the call to prayer from the local mosque. “The act of prayer was like taking a moment to reflect on things. And I needed to take a moment on myself, to reflect my father, my grief, and my confusion.”

He began to write songs, many songs, “to purge what I had inside – just keep writing, writing, writing. Like some emotional detox. I wrote like I was in a trance, abandoning myself to the emotion.” He returned to the music that had inspired him as a teenager – Glenn Branca’s turbulent, sweeping guitar symphonies and the scourging No Wave of Swans – and lost himself in performances by local musicians who would chase the same melody and rhythm for forty minutes at a time.

A year into his stay, his writing began to take recognisable form, melodies forming where earlier there had only been rage. And when Foster’s bandmates visited him in Tangier to see how he was doing, he played them these fragments he’d been working upon. Soon, their week-long stay extended to six months, as they collaborated with Foster to bring his songs to fruition, recording in a tiny studio he’d built on the busiest strip in Tangier.

The music they recorded sounded vast as the emotional canvas Foster was painting upon. It tapped into the music of his adolescence – Swans, Branca – but added aching melodies over its building, tempestuous cloudbursts, as Foster narrated his anguish and confusion following his father’s death, and his quest for identity and peace. On The Pain That Bonds, he falls to his knees, and has to acknowledge his frailty. On The Hunter (By The Seaside Window) – written after his return from Tangier, an epic piece that was originally half an hour long – Foster’s depression stalks him like prey, the Slint-esque soundscapes growing more and more claustrophobic. In the studio, he would conduct his bandmates; the music, he says, “needed to be raw… There could be no compromise.”

The songs are cathartic, thrilling, uncovering traces of hope and trascendence amid Foster’s introspection. The roiling tumult of Summertime Departures is a powerful musing on the finality of mortality, on what remained of his father and his legacy after his death. Its momentous sonic storm captures the confusion and anguish within Foster – it is, he says, about those times when we are “lost in the winds, when there’s no right or wrong” – but, he adds, its theme is his belief that “there is permanence amid the most painful of sorrows, and love, just like stone, will endure.” The brooding, magnificent Lavender Sky was initially inspired by the stunning sunsets he witnessed in Tangier, but evolved into a treatise on fear, rootlessness and powerlessness in the face of mortality. “It’s about accepting our lack of control,” Foster says, “but that acceptance isn’t defeat. And our fear makes us human.”

Foster’s ambition wasn’t to record a solo album – he was making this music for its own sake, for his sake. He wasn’t concerned with choruses and middle-eights; his aim was to “play the emotion, to express myself, beyond the rock’n’roll tricks and gimmicks.” But by the time he returned to Canada, the songs “were no longer just therapy. They were something real, something coherent.” Still, he struggled over whether or not to share these most private moments with the world, up until the very release date. It’s a dilemma he admits he’s still not entirely at peace with, even as Windows In The Sky topped the Canadian iTunes chart and won Foster both critical acclaim, and hitherto unimaginable mainstream attention.

“I was just breathing in, healing my heart,” he says, of the months when he was making this music. “I’m a writer, an artist, and I find it easier to deal with my emotions this way than sitting down with someone and talking to them. Emotions like those I was dealing with, they’re like flashes of extreme bright light, which blind you momentarily. But if you can open yourself up to them, and translate them into words and music somehow, you can understand yourself better.”

Albums

Snowflakes in July – EP

It sometimes happens that I can perfectly remember the circumstances surrounding a moment that has inspired me for a song, so much so that I can recall the perfume that was floating in the air, the type of light there was and even the precise details of the faces of the people sitting next to me, as if everything had stopped for a split second only for me to capture the meaning of the instant about to unfold before my eyes. “Snowflakes in July” is one of those songs.

In fact, it grew within me on 3 distinctive occasions. First, when I was a witness to my father’s passing, some time in the night between the 7th and 8th of July. The second occasion came about 2 weeks later when I would experience the very same phenomenon during my father’s funerals. The third occasion occurred a while after, as I was sitting on the plane that would fly me to Tangier for what I believed were a few weeks – it ultimately became 2 years.

Each time, vivid images, clearer than the moments themselves, but never any sound…

I finally wrote the lyrics back to Montreal after those 2 years in Tangier, right before I started working on the production of “Windows in the Sky”. Recalling those 3 events, in a pure form of automatic writing, from the words I whispered into my father’s ear to the bleakness of the funerals and the light punctuating the sky across the universe, I wrote, without asking myself too many questions. Much of those emotions had been intensively exposed over the course of my 2 years in Tangier and would mark the questions I was still unable to answer or didn’t have the courage to face the implications of. ” -Alex 
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released August 7, 2020
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Lavender Sky – EP

released June 15, 2020
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Windows in the Sky

“Windows in the Sky” is the first solo album from Alex Henry Foster, lead singer and songwriter for the Juno Awards nominee post-rock band Your Favorite Enemies.

Written between Tangier and Montreal, “Windows in the Sky” has been crafted in a fragile state of emotional isolation following the passing of his father, a devoted believer to whom he was estranged, after a long battle with cancer. Foster explores the nature of faithlessness, sorrows and solitude while trying to find hopeful directions within the disorientation and the confusion brought about by grief.

In the likes of Radiohead, Swans, Mogwai and Nick Cave, AHF’s delicate and stormy musical journey embodies a singular mix of art rock, shoegaze, noise, psych and krautrock, and is defined by a blend of intimate voicing and introspective spoken poetry. It is an 8-track cinematic voyage that incarnates a distorted voice trying to make sense of its fading echoes, exuding the last pieces of its self-preservative make-believes, trying to hold onto the deceptive views of every shadowing ghosts reflections it is fighting to keep alive, in order to suppress the painful image of the person it might have become, freed from the distorted narrative it was bound to in order to avoid suffering any longer.

Foster describes his first solo project as a contemplative and reflective landscape where purposelessness, vulnerability and disarray press for an honest examination of the true character of your personal spirituality, the distress of your life’s failures and the everlasting sense of regret that keeps on blooming as you try to survive the implacable bewilderment of loss and the mourning reality of your own impermanent existence.

“For years, I’ve been looking for deep personal emotions to be channeled within the safe and elusive context of a band’s dynamic, so I wouldn’t have to be exposed through their real colors, wouldn’t have to assume any intimate implication. I simply hid behind the thick curtain of distant screams and uprising noises. It’s only when my father passed and that I slowly started to work on the songs that would ultimately define the spirit of “Windows in the Sky” that I had to admit that unless I would be willing to tear that bleak veil of fears down, I wouldn’t be able to let any of those vivid emotions be, wouldn’t be able to free them from my exultant struggle to stand into the light… and therefore to have my depressive soul emancipated through the honest embracement of those hidden emotions… one glimmer at the time… which is exactly how the album would finally come to life.”

Entirely recorded in early 2018 at the Upper Room Studio – Your Favorite Enemies’ Catholic church turned professional recording studio facility – Foster invited his bandmates to contribute to the final stage of a few songs’ musical arrangements as he concluded the album’s self-production. 
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released May 1, 2020
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The Hunter – EP

The lyrics are part of a series of texts that I wrote in my new home in the middle of the Virginia Highlands after completing a 2-year exile in the city of Tangier. The symbolistic elements are numerous but are fundamentally the most honest I’ve been able to be regarding my lifelong struggles with depression and anxiety.

The hunter is the prey, as much as the prey stands as the hunter, both followed by the shadows of their own desperation and disillusions, both trying to escape reality and capture mirages. You can feel the conflict between denial and admission. You can see the traces of life following daydreaming echoes, offset reflections of similar images juxtaposing affective desperation and unwillingness to let go of their own deceptive creations. You can slowly figure out tiny pieces of the prey’s wounded agony, afflicted by a hunter renouncing to his own merciful innocence. The battle raging inside oneself, craving what we so easily leave behind, sometimes still bleeding from what has been taken away from us. Memories, like spring, cannot be revived, and disheartened will makes a redemptive seaside unreachable.

The hunter is the light, the prey is the darkness falling in the hands of a new morning. You feel the same, but everything is different somehow. You stand up. You hear the sound of a gun that has been fired. The ghosts that kept on haunting you are waiting outside for your daily anguish to begin. It’s hard to breathe. The fight against yourself is one that is as bright as the dawn. You’re breathing in, you’re breathing out… and just like that, everything starts once again. 
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released March 13, 2020
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Summertime Departures – EP

I started to daub the words to what would later become the lyrics for “Summertime Departures” as I was living in the dazzling city of Tangier, where I sort of drifted in a moment of great confusion. My father’s passing being at the center of the echoing emptiness that I was no longer able to ignore after years trying to avoid any type of introspective honesty on what felt like a senseless existence at this point in my life.

The way I dealt with it all was silence and isolation, even though his presence, souvenir and memory, as much as all the questions and the resentment coming with it, were haunting me. I would so often dream about conversations we never had that I thought I was going crazy, if not obsessed. I wondered if it was sorrow, guilt, anger, but it was something intangible. My father dedicated most of his life to his strong spiritual beliefs and he believed until the very end that he would be healed. Even if he knew his cancer was incurable, he sang and praised to his last breath. He was so convinced of his miraculous healing that he never thought it would be necessary to write a few words of his own, to share untold stories or what he was making of his situation… That deep conviction was incredibly troubling for me, especially after his passing, but I refused to address any of it… Until I got to Tangier… and knew I had to.

Witnessing how the people who make Tangier such a unique place connected with the notion of the “now” offered me a perspective I couldn’t escape from no more, something that was way beyond grief, life, death and myself. Therefore, I started writing. It all sort of made sense with the image of setting stone on a sanctum shrine… That was the starting point. That was the strange but meaningful ignition for me and ultimately the song. The idea was about a “marker” testifying of the foundation a person could have been in our lives… a “common” stone transcending any sort of precious ornaments.    

That image led me to wonder what’s ultimately left of us, when time passes by, when loved ones disappear, when promises vanish with the memories of those we cared for, when names are no longer mentioned, when our fondest souvenirs of someone we used to cherish slowly make place for somebody else’s heart, when the vivid colors of flowers are long gone, when time keeps its vows and catches up with us, when dreams and their hopeful shines wither, when we’re one faceless soul to somebody else’s view… When we are lost in the winds… When there’s no right or wrong in death…     

And therefore, now looking at it with an honest perspective of my own paradoxes and vulnerability, I understand that “Summertime Departures” is my way to say that regardless of what we may have spent our entire lives believing in or what we may have forgotten with time, there is a permanence amidst the most painful of all sorrows and our decision to let go in the acceptance that love, just like stone, will forever endure. 
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released January 17, 2020
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Videos

About the Song: I had the song’s title for quite a while before I started writing the initial lyrics. “Lavender Sky” is my own personal way to describe the absolutely magnificent display of variations in the purple and pink sky I was blessed to witness every single evening while living in Tangier. That sky was somehow reflecting an invitation to release my father by accepting his death and finally being able to mourn him, to make peace with whatever I have experienced in the past and admit to myself that no matter how complex of a lie I could believe, I’d never be able to move on with my life until I finally acknowledged the profound sadness I fed my existence and my loved ones with. That was the lyrical starting point of the song; acceptance. In retrospect, it may sound like quite a pessimistic song, a bleak way to look at the world, a violent admission of faithlessness… But while honesty doesn’t know cynicism and bitterness, I see “Lavender Sky” as the acceptance of things we don’t know and can’t control, as much as an admittance of our own fear is what makes us who we are and keeps us as human as the sky we keep longing for… From a stranger to another. – Alex “Lavender Sky” is the third international single off “Windows in the Sky”, the first solo album by Alex Henry Foster, Your Favorite Enemies’ lead singer. Stream the full album “Windows in the Sky”: http://smarturl.it/windowsinthesky Video producer: Jessie Nottola Director of Photography: David Moerman Follow Alex Henry Foster: YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/alexhenryfoster Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alexhenryfos… Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/alexhenryfo… Twitter: https://twitter.com/umitohanasuhito iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/artist/al… LYRICS: The trigger’s pulled on long-distance goodbyes The trigger’s pulled, the word’s confessed The trigger’s pulled, one last embrace The trigger’s pulled And the sun falls down from a far, far distance Through all we share Until we all go down, down, down Kneeling for grace And the sun falls down from a far, far distance Through all we share Until we all go down, down, down Kneeling for grace From a stranger to another, another Lavender sky Another The pain’s scattered, and time’s wrapping its youthful promise We’ve got new temples and prays But the fears remain the same, never feels any better Silent motion through science and flares But it’s gets older as we fade, never as we fare And the sun falls down from a far, far distance Through all we share Until we all go down, down, down Kneeling for grace From a stranger to another, another Lavender sky Another The trigger’s pulled, I’m drifting away The trigger’s pulled, without a trace The trigger’s pulled If truth is the sorrow we bare If truth is the sorrow We pull the trigger with every step We pull the trigger with every step We pull the trigger We’re setting fire on a moment that matters Illusions covering the bad from the worst Reflecting motion, reflecting motion From a stranger to another, the good like the worst We’re pulling the trigger, we’re pulling the trigger And it hurts like the truths we denied one another To keep our faith in what doesn’t feel any better
The short film tour de force, inspired by the likes of David Lynch, has been produced and written by Alex Henry Foster’s longtime collaborator, French filmmaker Jessie Nottola (Tinariwen, Tiken Jah Fakoly, Arthur H), after receiving carte blanche from Foster who wanted to experience the bewilderment of losing control on his work’s narrative and explore the freedom that comes with pure creative abandonment. “The Hunter (By the Seaside Window) emerged from a 30-minute jam of a noisy, out-of-breath and tortured kind of dark, spiritual, emotive, and redemptive sonic journey. It reflects on the symbiotic notion of inner struggles feeding the growing illness of the relationship between the different entities we kept on feeding within oneself, as a sort of an out-of-step addiction to pain and resignation, but also to hopelessness and mercy, as much as to salvation and grace. The cycle only ends once we decide to let go, whatever it may mean for anyone’s beliefs… as we are both the hunter and the prey” – Alex Henry Foster Stream “The Hunter (By the Seaside Window)” 3-song EP: https://smarturl.it/ahf-hunter Follow Alex Henry Foster: YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/alexhenryfoster Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alexhenryfos… Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/alexhenryfo… Twitter: https://twitter.com/umitohanasuhito Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/3xxV7… iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/artist/al… LYRICS: A gun has been fired, echoes from the mountain can’t lie The hunters, the hunters have been tracking their preys from early morning The snow is still flickering through the cold breezing sky The blood on the ground is slowly disappearing underneath The hunter is coming December’s falling down and time suddenly seems too numb to care I never thought it could be that cold here The hunter is coming is coming down Another footstep away from you, lost in distant storms My long view’s blurry by slow streaming cast and tones The hunter is coming My heart’s howling for spring, for memories to revive But high hopes never bloom from our saddened demise The hunter is coming for me The prey is laying down in the freezing evening cold Wounded by the very same hands that used to feed his land The winter The air so sweet and soft, almost perfume, over its body, broken Horizon’s never been that magnificent, that vivid and free But freedom has a color that I just can’t see The hunter is coming The men, tired of their ceremonial walk over, walk over the hill Standing witnesses, life leaving traces of a dream now fading into the night I’m breathing in, I’m breathing in and out The hunter is coming I’m breathing in and out Another footstep away from you, I’m lost in distant storms My long view’s blurry by slow streaming cast and tones Seaside never felt that far, never felt that unreachable My heart’s howling for spring, for memories to revive The hunter is coming But high hopes never bloom The hunter is coming I’m breathing in, I’m breathing out I never thought it could be that cold here The winter is coming Forgiveness is a gift, much like love carries its goodwill stray We watch a new day, rising from afar, kneeling our last breath away And I’m breathing in, and I’m breathing out The hunter is coming As we stand under a crystal curtain of dazzling gold Beholding a last image of youthful faith The hunter is coming Don’t you wait for me The hunter is coming Forgiveness is a gift, much like love carries you away, away The hunter is coming Winter is coming The hunter is coming for me He’s coming for me And I’m breathing in, breathing out Forgiveness is a gift, much like love carries its goodwill stray One step away from you Don’t wait for me, I won’t be back this time, won’t come home tonight I’ve closed my eyes in peaceful glimpses of pure white sky, I’ve closed my eyes And I’m thinking of you, feeding the fire Our dreamful laughter life I’m thinking about you Don’t wait for me, I won’t be back this time, don’t wait for me Don’t wait for me, I won’t come home tonight I’ve closed my eyes in peaceful glimpses of pure white sky I’m thinking of you, feeding the fire of our dreamful laughter life Now I’m standing, I’m standing by the seaside window, looking at you Don’t wait for me, I won’t be back this time, don’t wait for me The hunter is coming And he’s coming for me But high hopes never bloom from our saddened demise Not until flowers unfold their pure redeeming blue, until we find peace with our hunter’s rue The hunter is coming Don’t wait for me, the hunter is coming I won’t be back this time, the hunter is coming I won’t come home tonight, the hunter is coming And I’ve closed my eyes, and I’m thinking about you Don’t wait for me, I won’t be back this time The hunter is coming And I’m standing right above your seaside window shine Just a footstep away from you I’m breathing in, I’m breathing out
Alex Henry Foster & The Long Shadows performing the song “Summertime Departures (Sometimes I Dream)” off the album “Windows in the Sky” at the Club Soda in Montreal on July 5, 2019, at the Montreal International Jazz Festival. “I started to daub the words to what would later become the lyrics for “Summertime Departures” as I was living in the dazzling city of Tangier, where I sort of drifted in a moment of great confusion. My father’s passing being at the center of the echoing emptiness that I was no longer able to ignore after years trying to avoid any type of introspective honesty on what felt like a senseless existence at this point in my life. Witnessing how the people who make Tangier such a unique place connected with the notion of the “now” offered me a perspective I couldn’t escape from no more, something that was way beyond grief, life, death and myself. Therefore, I started writing. It all sort of made sense with the image of setting stone on a sanctum shrine… That was the starting point. That was the strange but meaningful ignition for me and ultimately the song. The idea was about a “marker” testifying of the foundation a person could have been in our lives… a “common” stone transcending any sort of precious ornaments.     That image led me to wonder what’s ultimately left of us, when time passes by, when loved ones disappear, when promises vanish with the memories of those we cared for, when names are no longer mentioned, when our fondest souvenirs of someone we used to cherish slowly make place for somebody else’s heart, when the vivid colors of flowers are long gone, when time keeps its vows and catches up with us, when dreams and their hopeful shines wither, when we’re one faceless soul to somebody else’s view… When we are lost in the winds… When there’s no right or wrong in death…      And therefore, now looking at it with an honest perspective of my own paradoxes and vulnerability, I understand that “Summertime Departures” is my way to say that regardless of what we may have spent our entire lives believing in or what we may have forgotten with time, there is a permanence amidst the most painful of all sorrows and our decision to let go in the acceptance that love, just like stone, will forever endure.” LYRICS: I’ve been covering my eyes, barely holding breath Haven’t slept much, can’t figure how it goes down The struggles, the damage, the faithless trials It doesn’t change the way I feel about you now Lost in the winds of summertime departures I’ve seen you Oh, I’ve seen you I’ve seen the clouds bloom and disappear Silences feeding their own masterful cheers Uplifting praise beholding love, lifetime gold Enough for me to count my every haven funerals Lost in the winds of summertime departures I’ve seen you Alive and well I’ve seen you I’ve seen you I’ve seen you We’re all set to lose One day or another We’re all set to lose Always And I set stones on your sanctum shrine Wrote down a few words so I could remember I hate to say, but I told you I told you And I set stones on your sanctum shrine Wrote down a few words so I could remember Remember Remember Remember that it’s not your death that hurts the most It’s the sadness that I kept growing between us Drifting from places where I always felt stuck and in the way Lost in the winds of summertime departures And I hate to say, but I told you So many times So many times One way or the other, we’re all set to lose Always Oh I see now And I hate to say I told you so So many times before Oh I see now And it’s not the fights, the fights we had That kept me away from you I’ve been sticking around, as long as I could I’ve been sticking around, as long as I could For you to decline my care, my invitations The lantern’s tired, the fog’s still growing Shadow’s howling, shadow’s howling Waiting to take you away from me, to fly away, to fly away with you And I’m tired, and I hate to say I told you And I set stones on your sanctum shrine Wrote down a few words so I could remember That it’s not your death that hurts the most It’s the sadness that I kept growing between us Oh I see now And I hate to say I told you so So many times before Oh I see now And it’s not the fights, the fights we had That kept me away from you From you From you We’re all set to lose Oh I see now And I hate to say I told you so So many times before Oh I see now That it’s not the fights, the fights we had That kept me away from you Sometimes I dream I can sail through the past And let my teardrops fall in the ocean, in the ocean Sometimes I dream I can sail through the past And let my teardrops fall at your feet I’ll see you one day Coming back for me I’ll see you one day
Featuring American poet Allen Ginsberg reading his masterful work “Song”, considered to be one of the great works of American literature, “Shadows of Our Evening Tides”, is an immersive and contemplative journey about finding peace through grieving time and living with the regrets of moments left undone.  About the Video: “Shadows of Our Evening Tides” is the second single off “Windows in the Sky”, the first solo album by Alex Henry Foster, Your Favorite Enemies’ lead singer. Filmed in Tokyo, Japan, the short movie represents the ineluctable pursuit of an everlasting happiness within the implacable context of a life hastily passing by. A relentless voyage about finding a personal purpose in our daily humdrum, discovering vivid colors in leaden monochromatic sceneries and uncovering the nature of extraordinary in what is too often considered the essence of ordinary. From a stranger to another, the short film “Shadows of Our Evening Tides” reflects an intimate story that intertwines into a greater, collective one. About the Album:  Written between North Africa, the highlands of Virginia, and his Montreal home, “Windows in the Sky” has been crafted in a fragile state of emotional isolation following the passing of his father, a devoted believer to whom he was estranged, after a long battle with cancer.  Foster explores the nature of faithlessness, sorrows and solitude while trying to find a hopeful direction within the disorientation and the confusion brought about by grief.   Stream the full album: http://smarturl.it/windowsinthesky Follow Alex Henry Foster: YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/alexhenryfoster Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alexhenryfos… Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/alexhenryfo… Twitter: https://twitter.com/umitohanasuhito Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/3xxV7… iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/artist/al… LYRICS: (The weight of the world is love. Under the burden of solitude, under the burden of dissatisfaction the weight, the weight we carry is love. but we carry the weight wearily, and so must rest in the arms of love at last, must rest in the arms of love. No rest without love, no sleep without dreams of love– The warm bodies shine together in the darkness, the hand moves to the center of the flesh, the skin trembles in happiness and the soul comes joyful to the eye– yes, yes, that’s what I wanted, I always wanted, I always wanted, to return to the body where I was born.) We all wish to find a place, to go back as a friend To hear our names from the high-wave stand We all wish to find a place We all wish to find a place, to go back as a lover We stir and swirl, we kneel and hope, we cry and pray Trying to follow We all wish to find a place, to go back as a lover To feel the tide from our high-wave stand In the shadows between the lights In the shadows of our evening tides I never learned how to swim Like water in my hands, on your lips In the shadows of our evening tides In the shadows between the lights In the shadows of our evening tides In the shadows between the lights
“Summertime Departures” is the first single off “Windows in the Sky”, the first solo album by Alex Henry Foster’s, Your Favorite Enemies’ lead singer. Written between Tangier and Montreal, “Windows in the Sky” has been crafted in a fragile state of emotional isolation following the passing of his father, a devoted believer to whom he was estranged, after a long battle with cancer. Foster explores the nature of faithlessness, sorrows and solitude while trying to find hopeful directions within the disorientation and the confusion brought about by grief.   LYRICS: I’ve been covering my eyes, barely holding breath Haven’t slept much, can’t figure how it goes down The struggles, the damage, the faithless trials It doesn’t change the way I feel about you now Lost in the winds of summertime departures I’ve seen you I’ve seen the clouds bloom and disappear Silences feeding their own masterful cheers Uplifting praise beholding love, lifetime gold Enough for me to count my every haven funerals Lost in winds of summertime departures I’ve seen you Alive and well I’ve seen you And we’re all set to lose One day or another We’re all set to lose And I set stones on your sanctum shrine Wrote down a few words so I could remember I hate to say, but I told you so, so many times And I set stones on your sanctum shrine Wrote down a few words of my own so I could remember Remember Remember Remember that it’s not your death that hurts the most It’s the sadness that I kept growing between us Drifting from places where I always felt stuck and in the way Lost in the winds of summertime departures And I hate to say, but I told you so So many times before We’re all set to lose One way or the other We’re all set to lose In the end We’re all set to lose And I see now And I hate to say I told you so So many times before Oh I see now And it’s not the fights, the fights we had That kept me away from you I’ve been sticking around, as long as I could I’ve been sticking around, as long as I could For you to decline my care, my invitations The lantern’s tired, the fog’s still growing Shadow’s howling, shadow’s howling Waiting to take you away from me, to fly away, to fly away with you And I’m tired, and I hate to say I told you And I set stones on your sanctum shrine Wrote down a few words so I could remember That it’s not your death that hurts the most It’s the sadness that I kept growing between us Lost in the winds of summertime departures And I see now And I hate to say I told you so So many times before Oh I see now And it’s not the fights, the fights we had That kept me away from you Sometimes, when I’m able to find some peace I dream I could sail through the past, beyond my craving illusions To let my teardrops fall into the ocean Hoping they’ll reach you out somewhere And I’ll see you one day Coming back for me

https://alexhenryfoster.bandcamp.com/music

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alex_Henry_Foster

http://smarturl.it/windowsinthesky

https://www.facebook.com/alexhenryfosterofficial/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPJ9svra9xkqsC0ZIKZdZ0w

Alex Henry Foster: Windows In The Sky – album review

By Nathan Whittle -April 30, 2020

Alex Henry Foster - Windows In The Sky

ALEX HENRY FOSTER

WINDOWS IN THE SKY

Hopeful Tragedy Records

2LP / DL

Out now!

Louder Than War Bomb Rating 4

Alex Henry Foster, frontman of Your Favorite Enemies, gets worldwide release for his solo album. A swooping post-rock cinematic vision that examines loss, hope, and transcendence.

The pulsing tremolo-laden distortion that opens up the first track of the new album from Alex Henry Foster raises early on that this is going to be a record that layers the instrumentation like brush strokes across its post-rock canvass. Over crashes of reverberating piano, sparsely hit along with the guitar that finds it’s way slowly through from within, an urging beast that rolls inside the song, Foster speaks plaintively, examining the main focus of the album – the loss of his father and his subsequent cathartic journey that led him to the writing of the album. Talking about the songs, Foster himself states that this song, titled The Pain That Bonds (The Beginning Is The End), part of a longer essay, addresses his reflection on personal ghosts and the need to free oneself from them. Windows In The Sky is an exercise in catharsis, courageously laid bare for all who desire to see.

While the spark for the album may be one of loss, the album, primarily made up of spoken word pieces and obviously dense and dark in moments, is also uplifting in places. The rising chorus on Winter Coming In is an early sunrise to break the night, and Snowflakes In July is driven much more by a rousing chorus that moves the narration slightly out of earshot. But that said, the poetry and narrative of self-examination are what really permeates the album. It is a deft touch to include a recording of Allen Ginsberg reading his poem Song. The reading bookends the song Shadows Of Our Evening Tides, a lighter piece that sees Foster’s vocals delicately, wistfully yearning. “The weight of the world is love.” is both the opening and final line that seals the song off perfectly.

The album, on the whole, is cinematic, driven by emotions in which he soaks the music as much as his own delivery. Sitting in the middle of the record is his most ambitious piece, one that takes up almost a quarter of the whole album. The Hunter (By The Seaside Window) moves like tides between softly whispered narration and engulfing waves of urgency. Written during his time living in the mountains over Tangier while dealing with the loss of his father, the song regards its protagonist as both predator and prey. It’s that entanglement, the inner fight between fatalism and hope that drives not only this song but much of the record itself.

On Summertime Departures, the subtle piano-led opening, delicate with a touch of dread, builds into a crescendo of crashing dense noise. Throughout the album, he is clearly indebted to the likes of Mogwai, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, and Sonic Youth, but the project feels always like a personal essay, a more intense self-analysis than those who have previously laid such a path. On Windows In The Sky, Foster and his seven-piece band blend perfectly his poetry with the sonic soundscape that engulfs it.

Find Alex Henry Foster on Facebook

Publicado por Aryon Maiden

Aficionado pela música em todos os momentos.

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