Watch for Flatt’s solo debut In Sum dropping later this month.
For many, Jerry-Faye Flatt needs little introduction. For the past five+ years she has been playing music with musicians from Saint John and Fredericton performing at times as a duo with Sadie Donahue and as a member of the bands Brother Faye and Aminal.
This month Flatt will release her solo debut, In Sum, a heartfelt collection guided by her distinct voice and subtle acoustic guitar work. In advance of the album’s release, we put together a few points to serve as an education and an introduction to this powerful performer.
#1 She has been performing since she was six years old.
“I’ve been singing for as long as I can remember. I started playing guitar when I was 12 and have been playing school talent shows and events since I was about 6 I think,” she said. “My mom really started off my musical life, giving me voice lessons since I was a toddler.”
Growing up in Saint John, Flatt formed the duo Regardless with Sadie Donahue before later forming her first full band, Brother Faye.
“My friend Sadie and I started playing together in 2012. We played together for two years during high school, playing tons of shows around the Saint John area and a bunch of music festivals around the Maritimes. Sadie and I both played guitars, sometimes we had a bass in the mix, and also a cajón. We played Afternoon Delight, Ham Jam and Evolve when it was still in Nova Scotia.
“After high school, I started a band called Brother Faye with brothers Avery and Gavin Downes,” said Flatt. “I had so much fun playing with those guys. Gavin on drums and Avery on bass. This was the first ever band I had really been in. It was amazing getting to show them the songs I was writing and working on and then working on them all together and getting them to sound good. We jammed at the Panic Room uptown Saint John every Monday. It was a dream come true for me. We got to record with Corey Bonnevie before I had to move away. Currently I’m living in Fredericton because I’m going to school here.”
Flatt is currently playing bass and singing backups with the group Aminal alongside Aidan Bullock (Tortue) and Colin Bonner (Cellarghost).
#2 Flatt will release her debut solo album this month. In Sum features nine tracks including a song from her first project and a cover of the Angel Olson song, Unfucktheworld.
“A lot of these songs on this album are pretty new,” she said. “I’ve worked really hard this past year to get some new songs under my belt but it took me a really long time to finish them, perfect them and then get them out there. One song on the album is a song that I wrote with Sadie [Donahue] when we were in grade 12. It became one of our ‘hits’. I have a special place in my heart for that song!”
#3 In Sum is the perfect title for Flatt’s debut, with most of the material drawing inspiration from a series of recent life changes. It’s excitement, it’s therapy and it’s closure.
“A lot of the songs on this album are about the changes in my life I have gone through in the past year,” said Flatt. “It has been crazy going from working full time at a coffee shop in Saint John where I was basically living the dream, to leaving that life behind and moving up to Fredericton to start full time at university. The album starts with the song Kings College Rd which is about some of the changes and challenges I have faced including drinking a bit too much. I have struggled with a lot of mental health problems, and after I moved away from home they got a lot worse. I also went through a really fucked up breakup during exam season. The breakup and mental health problems were really shitty of course, but really helped with my song writing. Bittersweet I guess!
“So yeah, pretty much all the songs on the album are about how everything in my life has changed so much, but also how lucky I am to have amazing friends and family in my life to help me through everything. The songs Song For Mom as well as Stay Mine are all about those moments.”
#4. In Sum was recorded in Fredericton “in a trip floor apartment on the Northside” by musician/engineer Adian Bullock.
“Working with Aidan was amazing. He’s a super good friend of mine and we play in Aminal together and everything so yeah, it was super easy to work with him. He’s an amazing musician and knows what sounds good. He helped with the kind of sound I wanted to go for and stuff because I really had no idea. If it wasn’t for Aidan, this album probably wouldn’t have happened, or would have taken a lot longer than it did.”
Wednesday Aug 30th – Reads (Fredericton) – Iris, Cellarghost, Sheik, Aminal | View Event
Friday September 15th – Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival
Saturday September 16th – Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival
September 20th – Bellwether (album release show)
September 23rd – Capital Complex (w/ Aminal)
October 6 – PERISH