After facing a breakup in April 2018, Michael Cantone put his thoughts and feelings to words — and eventually to music. The songs he wrote are now featured on his debut album, “Songs for an Activist,” which will be available on Bandcamp and YouTube Music on Sept. 4.
The album chronicles his entire relationship, with the first song describing how he and his ex-girlfriend met, and others based on the experiences they shared. “Faux Funeral,” for example, the sixth record on the album is based on his experience helping her with a protest against the United States health care system, and the last song, “Peace be With You” is about him coming to terms with the end of the two-year long relationship.
“Things happen [and] it didn’t work out,” Cantone, of Franklin Square, said, adding that he hopes others who have faced heartbreak can find some solace in the album.
Cantone started recording demos for it last September, and originally wanted to record it with some of his musician friends, but was unable to due to the coronavirus pandemic. So, instead, he decided to use his own musical expertise to record each part. He learned how to play instruments like the guitar, keyboard and bass percussion by listening to bands like The Kinks, Phil Ochs and Kevin Ayers when he was younger, and eventually minored in music while studying at New York University.
Now, at the age of 41, he has spent the pandemic holding live concerts on Facebook and Instagram, and has gained fans from across the country and internationally. At the same time, he has been recording songs for the album at his home recording studio, and made the final mixes in June.
Limited edition CDs with a mono and stereo mix and a lyric book will be released on Sept. 18. They cost $15, including shipping, and can be purchased on Venmo or PayPal, at MickCantone and MickCantoneMusic, respectively.
Cantone’s work is also available at MickCantone.bandcamp.com and Instagram.com/MickCantoneMusic.