Here’s a rough outline of one of New Brunswick’s most prolific artists making music right now.
If it seems like we’re always posting about new releases by Moncton based musician JE Sheehy, it’s because, well, the guy just keeps churning out new tunes that need to be heard. So far this year, he’s put out more than six EPs/singles across a slew of projects. Writing and releasing music under the names Starving Ghosts and Saint-Jack, Sheehy’s recent projects also include High Street Boys and Beard Springsteen. He’s also a member of the hardcore band Deep Fryer and Patrick Reinartz’ electro-pop-rock extravaganza, The Trick. All this to say, if you haven’t heard a track he’s either written or performed on over the past eight months, you either have an unfortunate hearing disability or live deep beneath the surface of the earth.
For anyone releasing so much music on a regular basis, there is a definite possibility that eventually it will all start to sound the same. Similar guitar tones, vocal crutches or some other overarching sonic commonalities may begin to surface. To date, Sheehy has somehow managed to sidestep such pitfalls, and with each new release he’s been able to take the listener in a new and welcomed direction.
His latest release, Starving Ghosts’ 23 minute track, This attic smells terrible, you ought to open a window instead of playing trumpet and throwing a party, is a cinematic crescendo rich with emotion, conflict and all those important short story elements that he’s able to inject into each track composed for this project.
So before he launches a new project or decides to gently place one of his current creative outlets on the backburner, I thought we’d take a minute and do a little inventory on the many inspiring albums he’s contributed to over the past few years.
Here are five releases I keep coming back to:
#5 Starving Ghosts – I
Written, recorded and released in January 2017, Starving Ghosts’ six track debut remains essential late night listening for me. Maybe because it was released in the dead of winter, I always associate this album with darkness, new fallen snow and a relentless search for warmth. But it’s proven to be a fine summer night soundtrack as well. Have a listen.
#4 The Trick – Fearsome Place EP
Back in 2015, The Trick’s Patrick Reinartz took his well-established solo project in a new direction, changing the live configuration from a solo act to a full ensemble. To make this work, Reinartz added Sheehy on bass and synths, Mike Nason on guitar and former Das Radio bandmate Sean Sullivan on drums. Fearsome Places marked the project’s first release as a four-piece and remains as catchy and infectious today as did it upon first listen when it was released on March 31, 2015.
#3 Beard Springsteen – Some Kind of Lobster
Sheehy released three solo EPs in 2015 under the name Beard Springsteen before ditching the drum machine and adding drummer Josh Steeves (Brookside Mall) into the mix. As the duo, the two recorded the eight song album, Downer Punks of Fredericton, in just two hours using only a Zoom H4N recorder, some borrowed cables and a broken mic stand. Six months later they teamed up with engineer Dylan Ward (Brookside Mall/David In The Dark) and released this EP. Hopefully, it’s not the last we’ve heard of this project.
#2 Deep Fryer – Deep Fryer
It’s rather hard to believe Sheehy can find the time to work with any projects outside of his own but thankfully, he found a way to make this work. He was one of the first people vocalist Mike Erb called when he decided to put this band together, or so the story goes. After releasing their debut in the fall of 2016, Deep Fryer have become one of those must-see bands. Loud, fast and extremely funny on stage. Who would have thought a car salesman, a radio host, a sommelier and a government photographer could create such a joyful racket?
#1 Saint Jack – Acadie Truck
Back in 2013/2014, Sheehy was developing a project he called Off Season, an electronic music endeavor that resulted in a few releases. The project would eventually take a backseat to others he had on the go, only to resurface a few years later with a new sound, a new name and in a format that could easily play live shows without the need for six power-bars and a whole lot of stage room.
Acadie Truck is Sheehy’s latest release. At least at the time of this article’s publication. But who knows? That could change at any minute. There are still three months left in 2017. That’s means we could easily expect two more EPs.
Learn more – Hear More:
Saint-Jack | Facebook | Twitter
Deep Fryer | Facebook | Instagram
Beard Springsteen | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
The Trick | Facebook
Starving Ghosts & Bored Coast Records | Facebook | Instagram