JE Sheehy talks recording and shares new track.
Let’s face it. It’s nearly impossible to have a full grasp on all the music happening in Fredericton. Keeping an eye on live performances is one thing, but unless you know someone, or know someone who knows someone, staying current with the increasingly diverse blend of beats being made in basements, bedrooms and makeshift studios is a frivolous task. But every once in a while we meet someone (or meet someone who’s met someone) and the city scene becomes slightly more focused – at least for a minute or two.
Off Season is the creative outlet for musician, journalist and broadcaster Jean-Étienne Sheehy. As he puts the finishing touches on his second album, scheduled for release in January 2015, JE was kind of enough to share some thoughts on his recent recording process and the new music he has been making.
“Vénus is my second solo album under the name, Off Season,” said Sheehy. “As soon as I finished recording my first album, L’éclat des sens, I had ideas for new songs. I feel like the first album was just about gathering song ideas I’ve had since 2004, and finally breaking my inability to complete an actual full length album.”
Wasting no time, and channeling a rush of inspiration, JE has spent the past several months writing and recording a follow-up album’s worth of music. Six months after releasing his debut, he’s just about ready to drop album number two.
“This time around, I started writing in July and had finished tracking everything by the middle of November. Because of that, the themes I deal with are more specific to this period of my life. Writing this record has been more therapeutic in many ways too, for personal and musical reasons. The songs are tighter and even if I explore a variety of influences, there’s a nice thread that goes through the twelve songs. The album’s coming out in January 2015 online and the first single, Civil War, is being sent out this week.”
Sheehy has been experimenting with recording equipment since he first started dabbling in music. The ability to hit the record button at any time helped him develop his initial interest in exploring music and continues to be an encouraging factor in his writing today. There is no ignoring the convenience of home recording.
“When I got my first musical instrument in 2001, I immediately started recording on a cassette deck even though I had no idea how to even play music in the first place. Being able to record my own stuff has always been at the centre of my whole creative process. I feel like home recording is an art in itself because it’s the whole package really – accessibility, easiness and freedom. It can be a challenge, especially for things over which I don’t have as much control, like my vocals. On the other hand, a lot of the music I work on is based on electronic drum loops so home recording is made for these types of explorations.”
For this feature, we’re happy to share a brand new track from Off Season’s upcoming release. Check it out:
“Lead is the only English song on the album,” he said. “At first I envisioned it to be an all acoustic track, something very quiet and subtle. In the end, I worked on layers of instruments, with some Beach House cues. The song is about confronting your fears and things that you’ve buried, but are still part of you. It’s mostly about accepting your true human nature and not bothering about what the rest of the world may think. I usually write music before lyrics, but in this context the idea behind the track came first. Lead totally fits the other grand themes of Vénus – distance, separation and fear.”
Watch for Off Season’s second album, Vénus, coming in January 2015.