Q&A Scene: Brealyn Sheehan

Tell us about your new EP?
[pullquote]As a performer I find it really inspiring to watch gigs and performances of all types, and to meet other musicians and learn more about their stories.[/pullquote] I’ve just released my debut 6-track EP Temptation’s Door. I recorded in the later half of last year in Cairns at Big Sister Studio with producer Mark Myers (The Middle East, Emma Louise). I’d been writing for about 18 months leading up to recording and the songs are tales of love and desire.

What's your favourite work at this point in time? (your own or your group's work)
It’s hard to pick favourites, but the track My Body Is Your Orchestra is quite special to me, it’s the first song I wrote, and completing it encouraged me to write more, and it has gone on to help shape the style of music I’m writing.

Tell us a quick, on the road or studio, anecdote.
With an old band I once performed a gig under a garage awning when a huge North Qld storm rolled in. It rained so heavily water flooded the floor of the garage behind us where our gear was stored. We had to take a break between songs to lift our cases out of the water. A big green frog joined us on stage and tried to steal the show, and despite a mid-song power outage we just kept playing.

What, or who, inspires you?
So far my songwriting is mostly inspired by my life, relationships, travel etc. As a performer I find it really inspiring to watch gigs and performances of all types, and to meet other musicians and learn more about their stories.

Which song do you wish you wrote?
Probably Nick Cave’s (Are You) The One That I’ve Been Waiting For. I love a great ballad, and Mr Cave is a master of them.

How would you describe your sound in food form and why? 
I think my music is a little like dessert or a glass of wine, it’s best to settle in and take time to enjoy it’s nuances.

What’s next for you?
Now that the EP’s released I hope to share my music with as many people as I can, and I’m starting to plan some touring for later in the year. I’m also looking forward to working on new material.

What’s your scene?
My scene is a cozy corner of an intimate bar enjoying a gig, or otherwise a late night jam with friends.

About Brealyn

Following up a successful single release earlier this year, Far North Queensland singer-songwriter Brealyn Sheehan released her debut EP – Temptation’s Door – this April. Combining a heady mix of indie-folk, jazz and blues, Temptation’s Door is a testimony to romantic and familial love, touching on universal themes of love, desire and longing. Brealyn has been honing her craft for a while, experimenting with songwriting and instrumentation in her hometown of Cairns and is ready at last to share her personal offering with audiences on a national scale.

The first single from the EP – Forbidden Fruit – which was released in February, was a haunting, ethereal introduction to Brealyn’s unique sound. Recorded under the guidance of producer Mark Myers (Emma Louise), the sultry songstress employed an improvisational approach to Temptation’s Door, so that the EP flowed naturally. In fact, this is consistent with her ongoing approach to songwriting.

When I write I prefer to let the song form fairly naturally,” she says. “I enjoy playing with the melodies and seeing where they lead, finding the right tone for the story the lyrics are telling without me trying to shape it into one neat genre.

Rather than paying homage to one particular genre, Brealyn’s debut explores a number of styles, including folk, jazz and blues and traverses effortless between them. She has found a niche where her vocal style and instrumentation settle comfortably in a musical landscape she is quickly making her own. With a unique vocal style that has been likened to everyone from Sarah Blasko and Clare Bowditch to Amy Winehouse, her lush approach to music provides a perfect backdrop to her haunting tone.

Temptation’s Door was produced by The Middle East’s Mark Myers at his Big Sister Studios in Cairns, and was an exercise in trust for Brealyn, giving the elements of Temptation’s Door over to someone else for input. The EP was also mastered by

William Bowden at King Willy Sound, a decision that was suggested by Mark himself and one that helped bring the sound to fruition. The end result is exactly what Brealyn envisioned.

Working with Mark was great,” she says. “This was my first time in the studio, so it was all quite new to me. Big Sister is very comfy to work in and we settled into things quickly. I went into the studio with a good idea of what I wanted and didn’t want from the overall sound of the recording, but also with an open mind to Mark’s suggestions. He was sensitive to the material and my production notes and also brought out some great ideas I wouldn’t have thought of alone.

Brealyn was inspired to record after receiving audience requests for a CD. “I started writing about 18 months before heading into the studio and I found I was getting a really positive audience response to my music,” she says. “It hadn’t occurred to me initially, but I found I was getting asked if I had a CD after I began performing a few of my original songs, so the idea to record

The themes expressed in the EP are pretty universal and relatable, enabling Brealyn to form an emotive and honest connection with her listeners. “The themes in the EP are those of desire and love which I’d been reflecting on while I was writing,” she says. “In the case of love it’s not only romantic love, but also touching on friendship and familial love. Song writing for me has become an outlet to express feelings and ideas I didn’t have the right words for in conversation.”

The framework for Temptation’s Door was conceived in 2014 and Brealyn has slowly been building her style, profile and fan base around its construction and post-production. The first single off the EP – Forbidden Fruit – peaked at number 5 on the AMRAP charts at the end of March, with the possibility of more chart movement in the future.

“The support for the single has been amazing, both from an airplay and audience feedback perspective and I’m a little blown away,” says Brealyn. “I’m so pleased that people have been enjoying this first track. The EP will give people further insight into my music and hopefully they can find their own connection to the songs.”

With a supporting tour in mind Brealyn is incredibly excited about her trajectory. “My focus for the last few months has been on preparing the EP and getting ready for the release, so once that’s done I’m looking forward to mapping out some tour dates, and also working on some new material,” she says.

Brealyn Sheehan’s debut EP Temptation’s Door was released independantly on Friday 15th April 2016. For more information, please visit www.brealynsheehan.com

About Mandy Hall 838 Articles
Mandy is a music photographer & writer. She runs Mandy Hall Media, which includes Photography, Social Media marketing, PR & Graphic Design for the music industry. She is also a web developer - she created and supports this website.

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