Alex Frew Releases Something To Hold Onto, An Exploration Of Addiction And Mental Health Issues

by Lucy Lerner

27th January, 2021

Alex Frew has released his intoxicating new single Something To Hold Onto. The track has an after-hours vibe with a brooding bassline, moody introspection and haunting backdrop. Lyrics which explore addiction, self-doubt, toxic habits, depression and anxiety are visceral and compelling. 

Alex Frew says the song is questioning, “If my addictions had the ability to speak, what would they say?” This song is a way in which I can navigate that perspective.”

We reached out to the Toronto-based music artist in light of his new single and our music wellness series to find out more about the track and how this past year has been for him.

How would you describe your musical style to new listeners
Throughout the course of creating this project, we attempted to make pop music that had a subtle, alternative edge that lent itself more to introspection.

Tell us about your new single Something To Hold Onto
This single is incredibly important to me, simply due to the period in which it was created, and the subject matter it deals with. It’s very much an anthem about substance abuse and the struggles and intricacies that come along with that. The demo of this was created during a difficult time in this regard, so it means a lot.

What were your emotions and feelings while writing this song and what message would you like to get across to listeners?
The ultimate message of this song is to not let our vices and worst instincts steer this ship. This is really an exploration into the evil that can arise from addiction and mental health issues, and how we can’t let that rule us, because the end result can be a pretty dark place.

Is there a lyric from one of your songs or someone else’s that has particularly resonated with you during this time?
“And it shakes everything you know How we were when the waters were low” from ‘Gallipoli’ by Beirut

How did COVID-19 change your plans for the year?
COVID really threw a huge wrench in our plans, as we were supposed to release the project about a year ago. Though everyone is in the same boat right now, and I’m personally just looking forward to reclaiming some semblance of my youth.

Have there been any other challenges you have faced during COVID-19?
During the pandemic, my days have mostly revolved around recording musical ideas and working on my production skills on my own, which has been incredibly rewarding, along with a healthy dose of Netflix mixed in.

What’s your typical daily routine like?
My daily routine mainly revolves around making music, whether that takes the form of songwriting or just playing guitar. It’s important to be kind to yourself and do what you love right now.

What have you missed most during quarantine?
Concerts. I am a massive fan of live shows and everything that comes along with them, and I miss them terribly right now. My schedule is gonna be booked solid going to shows, and hopefully playing them myself. And being able to write songs with other people in person!

Can you tell us what albums, songs, music videos, films, TV series, podcasts and books have been helping you get through the quarantine?
I’ve just started getting into the Dune series by Frank Herbert, which is quite an undertaking, so that should be occupying a lot of my free time in this strange period of limbo.

Has the pandemic inspired you to create music or has it hindered your motivation?
Overall it’s been a detriment to my productivity, simply because of the lack of current inspiration. Hopefully, this will change soon.

How have you managed to maintain focus during the pandemic – do you have any tips or tricks you use to motivate you?
Just trying to structure my days with a daily schedule has been extremely valuable for me, and has greatly increased my productivity.

What have been some of the positives you have experienced from lockdown and the pandemic in general?
The main positive I’ve taken from this time is just being able to know myself on a deeper level, due to all of this isolation. It may be difficult at times, but I hope to come out of this a more well-rounded individual.

Once normal life resumes, what is the first thing you would like to do?
I think I’d just like to go to a restaurant, get a draft beer, and just have a “normal” night with friends :).

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