Singer-Songwriter Supports Mental Health Awareness with New EP ‘Out at Sea’

 In Culture, Event

St. Louis singer-songwriter John Henry wrote and recorded his new album, “Out at Sea,” after losing a band member to suicide—and he knew he wanted its May 9 release to support a cause close to his heart. After reaching out to the National Alliance on Mental Illness St. Louis, Henry began a Kickstarter campaign to raise $1 for every $1 spent on the pre-order of his album.

“Losing a band mate is incredibly painful and confusing. I was obviously incredibly sad but I also would retrace conversations and times together where I wondered if I had missed anything or if I could have been more supportive,” Henry says. “And I think it’s a juxtaposition in this field where most people are very sensitive but also very independent and private. When you’re in that kind of pain, you feel like there  is no way out of it—and yet there are so many people who love you and are willing to listen and help.”

“Out at Sea” began with the title track and single. “It had the emotional content that I felt I could base a project around, and I got excited about it,” Henry says. “We recorded it at Native Sound over the course of five days.”

Though the songs thematically deal with some heavy issues, Henry crafted them in a way that would be easy for listeners to digest. He was able to return to the basics of songwriting by stripping away any unnecessary parts, keeping the songs true to their core. “Artistically, I wanted the record to be in my voice and have a little bit of all the music that I love centered around a particular lyrical theme,” he explains.

This isn’t Henry’s first album to deal with heavy issues. His previous album, “Dark City Dark Country,” dealt with issues like gun violence, addiction and a lack of hope and opportunity.

When you select your pre-order the “Out at Sea” package on the Kickstarter page, NAMI will match the cost in an effort to double the amount raised for mental health awareness.

Henry has made it even simpler with “two levels: inexpensive and a lot of bang for your buck. Link is up on all our socials. What’s important about this campaign is that in addition to helping us fund the record, your contribution is helping a great cause in NAMI STL,” says Henry.

The official release show is May 9 at Off Broadway Music Venue with The Sleepy Rubies. [Editor’s note: Please check with the venue as the date gets closer to ensure that the release show is still happening.]

Feature photo courtesy of Nate Burrell.

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