Mattapoisett resident battles back from chronic disease to release debut album

Nov 13, 2023

MATTAPOISETT — Mattapoisett resident Alex Cannell saw his life change dramatically when he was diagnosed with chronic Lyme Disease four years ago — but that didn’t stop him from recording and producing a soon-to-be released album of music he composed and performs.

Four years ago Cannell was living “a normal post-graduate life” working in Boston after earning a degree in economics from St. Lawrence University but was diagnosed with chronic Lyme Disease and dysautonomia in February, 2020.

Dysautonomia is a dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system. Lyme Disease is a bacterial illness that can cause fatigue.

Cannell said his sickness is “similar to bad cases of long Covid-19. It is a very complex, debilitating medical illness”

Cannell had been making music for nearly his entire life, but had to take a break from his passion to focus on his health.

“Making music became completely sidelined for me,” said Cannell. “Even listening to music for a few years was too stimulating.”

On Thursday, Nov. 16, the 26-year-old will be releasing music for the first time since the onset of his health issues.

His new album, titled “Things in Motion” will be released on the audio distribution platform Bandcamp on Nov. 16, and will be available on Spotify, Apple Music and all major streaming platforms on Thursday, Nov. 23.

Cannell, who likes to leave his music up to the interpretation of listeners, said the album would be best defined as alternative rock or indie rock.

Growing up, Cannell was influenced by punk rock bands like Green Day and Blink-182 and today he listens to former Grateful Dead frontman Jerry Garcia for inspiration on the guitar.

Cannell said that the ten song album is reflective of the journey he has gone through.

“The album starts off resembling some of the anger and frustration of not having control of my situation. The last track is more peaceful and meditative, which is sort of in a way of me coming to terms with what happened” he said.

“The biggest symptom that came with my diagnosis was the fatigue,” said Cannell. “I can’t work full time, it is definitely not a normal life.”

Around a year ago Cannell said he started receiving certain treatments that allowed him to get back to listening to and making music.

Along with playing the guitar and providing the vocals on the album, Cannell produced the entire album by himself.

“My favorite song on the album right now is ‘Astronautical’ because it embodies most of the metaphorical themes present throughout the album,” said Cannell. “It has a ‘moving forward’ feeling.”

Cannell hopes that listeners will find something to connect with on the album that will aid them in their personal journey, no matter what it may be.

“My two main goals are to make good music and to relate to and inspire those who are going through similar inflictions [as] me,” said Cannell.

“Things in Motion” will be free to stream on Cannell’s Bandcamp Page, but will also be for sale on the platform as a fundraiser to help cover expenses of the album.