By Adesuwa Okoyomon
VANCOUVER – Last year, Vancouver multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter Alex Maher gave us Aether, an album that is “a statement of perseverance” and explores his journey “out of a period of great darkness after the loss of a friend… struggling against depression and drug addiction and coming out in one piece.” Maher, who describes his sound as a “quiet storm,” started playing the saxophone, guitar, and drums, in the sixth grade. When he turned 16, he started playing gigs and recalls that “exposure to all this music that was happening was hugely formative.”
Aether, like much of Maher’s music, is an impressive blend of soul, R&B, and funk. He says that the tracks “Submarine” and “The Light” are two songs that speak to the essence of Aether. The EP is about “surfacing from obscurity and darkness, travelling a dark path, but seeing a brighter path ahead and wanting that for yourself,” and the songs are as soulful as they are sincere.
While Maher started out writing “songs that were a reflection of what [he] was going through,” his recent work “is about relationships and world observations: addressing something important, but dressing it up nicely, because it’s hard to not seem preachy when you’re writing about world issues.”
Maher is hoping to release another EP within the next year and has already cut vocals for one song. He has met with some young filmmakers for possible music videos for songs off of the next EP and is looking forward to more opportunities to play with his band featuring Mary Ancheta (keys), Benjamin Parker (guitar), Darren Parris (bass), Johnny Andrews (drums), and Jess Vaira (backing vocals).
Above all, Maher hopes his songs “allow people to see a reflection of a situation and feel better. Music, even if it’s sad, can make you feel better.”
Alex Maher plays Guilt & Company on March 9.Guilt & Co.