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June Body’s Life and darkness

On its EP Life from Underneath the Halifax trio tackles depression, love and loss.

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ALEX BOYD
  • Alex Boyd

June Body EP release w/Shuteye, Eyeball Kid, Ursa Bright

Thursday, May 24, 10pm
Gus’ Pub, 2605 Agricola Street
$10

Halifax’s June Body may be an alternative rock band loaded with energy, but underneath there’s an openness and vulnerability that permeates the core of every song.

The songs on the new EP Life from Underneath share a theme of depression while exploring love and loss. After going through a rough patch, lead singer and guitarist Connor James will write a batch of songs and send them to the other two members of June Body and get to work recording. “When you come out of that hole, you sort of gain this clarity that I think makes writing songs easier,” says James. “When I come out of those swings there, I sort of get a rush of creativity.”

While living in Toronto, James would perform acoustic guitar music under his own name but wanted to do more. After recording the Fragility EP there in 2016 under the June Body moniker, James moved to Halifax and used the three-song album as a demo when looking for bandmates in a new city where he didn’t know many people. A Kijiji ad connected him with bassist Alex Callaghan, and eventually drummer Dillon Shillieto rounded out the trio. 

Previously, all June Body songs were bedroom recordings. On Light from Underneath, the band went into a studio for the first time and recorded the six-song EP with Charles Austin. 

“Going into the studio,” says James, “we were so practiced as a trio that we knew all our parts so well that we just went in and cranked it out.”

James draws on influence from his favourite artist, Elliott Smith, a singer-songwriter who wasn’t afraid to tackle his demons through song. 

“The reason I latch onto those kinds of themes is because a lot of the music I listen to is sort of just blatantly honest and there's no mask on it,” says James, who's also inspired by Death Cab for Cutie’s Ben Gibbard. “And that's the kind of music I've always loved.”

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