Alex Mason Reveals His “Dark Days”

Alex Mason is a Canadian singer-songwriter based in Toronto, Ontario. His songs are dark, anthemic, quiet and dynamic, like dredging up the bones of things that sit at the bottom of lakes. Raised in rural Ontario, he moved to Toronto after completing his degree in English Literature and decided he’d rather put his words in songs than essays.

Whether solo or with his full band, his voice and songs bring a fresh energy and lyricism to Canadian music. After 3 EPs, he is currently preparing his first full length LP, Ghost of the Great Lakes, inspired in part by Virginia Woolf’s 1927 novel “To The Lighthouse” and the life lived that has brought him here.

“In mid 2016 not long after having moved to Toronto, I was really struggling in my career and trying to write songs about genuine hope,” said Mason. “I had a conversation with a friend at work about what it meant to overcome failure and she told me that many people pursue something, whether it be a passion or a career, and get to a middle point where they give up, and are doomed to keep finding new fixations and repeating the process, always giving up in this middle period where they plateau.

“It takes working through this ‘desert,’ sitting with the pain, being stranded alone, to come out on the other side. I ran home with words in my head, picked up the guitar and wrote this song almost immediately.”

During the making of “Dark Days” and the rest of the songs for this upcoming record, a big part of the sound of the album involved a delay pedal called the Deluxe Memory Man by Electro-Harmonix. For “Dark Days” in particular, a lot of guitar parts have this analog echo on them, creating an ethereal wash. 

The older units in particular are really sought after, as popularized by so many bands such as Radiohead and many others. After losing his Mom mid-way through the recording process for this album, Mason’s old bandmates and producer banded together to purchase one of these units for him and it’s the same sound you hear on the delayed guitar parts in this song. The pedal given to Mason was also used on the record “Suffer Summer” by Chastity, recorded at the same studio.