June Body
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June Body

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2017

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Established on Jan, 2017
Band Alternative Rock

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Nov
02
June Body @ Belly Up Bar & Grill

Truro, Nova Scotia, Canada

Truro, Nova Scotia, Canada

Sep
28
June Body @ Menz & Mollyz

Nova Scotia, Canada

Nova Scotia, Canada

Aug
11
June Body @ Hard Luck Bar

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Music

Press


Review – “Life From Underneath” – June Body

reviewed by Kaitlin Ruether

I was once told, as a prompt more than a rule, that art should include at least some nod, some tilt towards love, sex, death, or money. From then on, I would often find one of these themes in my writing and dive into it. June Body go beyond, not choosing one big theme, but interweaving patterns of love and death, anxiety and romance into every song so that there is a juxtapositional complexity. On their aptly titled album, Life From Underneath, there is no shortage of bravery in getting to the heavy stuff.

This Halifax trio creates emo-tinged pop-rock that brings popular jangly guitars together with washes of emotion and an honest, if somewhat dark, approach to life and love. “I’m clearly obsessed with my demise,” Connor James sings in “River Never Runs Dry”, and we can feel this. “Love then Die” and “Dead Eyes are No Prize” also tie love with death. The former by watching a loved one tear themselves apart, and the latter with metaphors that evoke the winding nature of depression. The lyrical highlight of the album comes with the wisdom of “Love then Die”: “If you’re down on your luck, remember your eyes never change their size. You’re seeing the world through the same lens as when you were a child. Things just got heavy.”

The alarm-like guitar ring on “Living Inside” permeates the grungier feeling of the track (a tonal shift) and drives a sense of anxiety. The lyrics dip into the biblical and break away from the pop beginnings of the album. The optimistic and fleeting guitars that glide around the kicky vocals on “Plan For Us” become a memory. Every element has its moment to shine, with the prominent bass in “River Never Runs Dry” plucking the track into movement and the clear vocals on “How the Story Starts” — wonderfully closing the album with the ironic title — bringing crisp meaning and a touch of 2000’s alt-rock nostalgia.

June Body bring a mix of modern indie rock sounds and a nostalgia for the emotional alt-rock that was once so prevalent and tie it together by talking about the big matters in life. Unafraid of talking about pain, anxiety, and being in love, this is an album that is infinitely relatable.

Top Tracks: “Plan For Us”; “Living Inside”

Rating: Strong Hoot (Good) - Kaitlin Ruether - Grayowl Point


By Jonathan Briggins

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.” - The Coast


Dan recently sat down with Connor James, frontman of Halifax alt-rock trio June Body as he passed through Ottawa on a solo acoustic tour to promote the band’s new EP, Life From Underneath. Connor was kind enough to take time out between shows to answer some questions about the burgeoning band’s origins, current status in their home base of Halifax, and plans for the near future.

First thing’s first – who is June Body?
June Body’s current line-up is me [Connor James, guitar and vocals], Alex Callaghan (bass), and Dillon Shillieto (drums). The three of us met in Halifax. Before that, our drummer and bedroom producer of our first full-length Star for You was Williston Irvine; a Halifax native. On the night of our first show, Will was hit by a car and broke his arm (he’s okay now). After that, other commitments for Will led us to pick up our current drummer, Dillon.

How did you start playing together?
Alex and I started playing together after I put an ad out on Kijiji looking for players to join this band called June Body. I was very specific in the ad about what I wanted, almost to an off-putting degree. Alex liked the assertiveness I guess, and came over. We connected almost instantly. I met Dillon through my girlfriend, who is friends with his girlfriend. So really the women in our lives are responsible for the current line-up.

You’ve been playing music for a while now, what influenced you to finally sit down and record your first EP, “Fragility”?
I had been recording and releasing a lot of music through my name, Connor James. I found that my desire to create rock albums was hindered by the fact that it didn’t suit the vibes and intents of the Connor James material. So I created a moniker to separate the two entities. I was living in Toronto at the time, and an old friend—Lewis Caunter—invited me over to his apartment to record an EP. He had a drum kit, some amps, recording equipment—and we just did the three songs in a few days. That became the Fragility EP.

What was the reception like to that album in Halifax?
There was no reception. I was starting all over again in a new city—trying to develop new connections and share my music with people. The people who did actually listen to it seemed to like it. A guy I work with got a tattoo with some lyrics from that album on his calf, so I must have done something right.

What’s the music scene like out East?
It’s a special place. It’s unlike any other city I’ve lived in. There is an intense feeling of camaraderie and support for local acts. I’ve often speculated that the small size of Halifax, coupled with a high saturation of art and music lovers, creates an environment for artists to succeed locally. I think larger cities can isolate artists because a sense of community is harder to access. It becomes difficult to gauge success and audience connection in a tangible way. It’s a cool feeling printing off 60 posters and walking around the entire city of Halifax, hanging them up, and knowing people are actually going to stop and look at it, and maybe even come to your show (I know, sometimes people actually go to shows). It’s a cool community. There’s also an “open mic for bands” that happens weekly called Rockin 4 Dollars that serves as an amazing opportunity to connect with other bands, and see some artists that fly under the radar. I’ve been blown away on numerous occasions by bands there that no one has ever heard of.

How do you think your background – raised in Ottawa, now living in Halifax – has influenced your music, both lyrically and stylistically?
I don’t really think I’m influenced by “place” that much. I’m influenced almost entirely by the music I listen to. Also, everyone knows it’s only cool to reference where you live if it’s in mid-west America.

Jumping back to your recordings: “Fragility” and its follow up “Star for You” seem to largely be albums about relationships, and the struggles in maintaining and understand them in the moment. Is “Life From Underneath” different in any way to this?
Life from Underneath definitely contains those themes again. I’ve always latched onto writing about my relationships, the relationships of the people around me, and the connection between your own mind and interests and how that affects the person you’re with. When you’re in a deep depression, you’re often not fully aware of how that is affecting your partner and your friends. The album dives into that theme pretty consistently from track to track.

Your sound has certainly evolved since last year’s releases – what equipment are you using right now?
I’ve definitely spent too much money on pedals, and I feel like I can’t live without them now. It’s a slow descent into financial horror when you start watching pedal demo videos online and deciding whether or not it would make your sound better. Usually I find some way to rationalize buying a new toy. I did buy a new guitar right before we recordedLife from Underneath and ended up using it for all the guitar parts. It’s a Fender JA-90 Thinline Telecaster. I used the same amp for this album as the last, which is a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe III.

“Life From Underneath” gives me a very Jimmy Eat World vibe, especially the back half of the album. I’m guessing Jim Adkins is one of your influencers? Any other acts or figures you’re inspired by?
Jim Adkins’ songwriting is very influential to me for sure. I think most people just have exposure to the band’s singles, which I really don’t think fully exemplify Adkins’ songwriting skills. Don’t get me wrong, writing a super catchy rock song like “Sweetness” is an incredible skill, but their back catalogue is full of feely gems. Ben Gibbard from Death Cab is also a massive influence. The rest of my influence is sort of a grab-bag of 90s and early 00s alternative acts. Certain vocal inflections can be traced to certain artists I find. I often project “e” sounds with an “h” before them, which is a Brain Molko (Placebo) thing. I also roll notes off, if that makes any sense, which is an Elliott Smith thing. He probably got it from Paul McCartney. David Bazan (Pedro the Lion), Jeremy Enigk (Sunny Day Real Estate), and Matthew Caws (Nada Surf) are other big influences on me, to name a few. I could spend all day giving credit to the artists I’ve ripped off.

You’re on a mini solo-tour right now across South-Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec, what comes next for yourself and June Body?
When I get back we have some shows as a band in May. One is at an art festival in New Glasgow, NS on May 5. The other is our official record release show in Halifax on May 24. I’ve almost finished booking a tour for the band in August that will be about six dates across Ontario.

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Relight Magazine is pleased to share the news of an upcoming tour announcement from June Body, who will be hitting stops in Ontario and Quebec (Montreal through to London) in early August 2018. Follow @junebodyband on Instagram to keep up with news on the tour!

Check out June Body on Spotify or Bandcamp, and listen to their most recent single, “River Never Runs Dry"

Catch June Body live:

May 24 – Record Release Show at Gus’ Pub, Halifax

TBD – Ontario & Quebec tour in early August (touring Montreal through to London)

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Written by Daniel Beg

Edited by Cameron Dunn

Photo Cred: June Body - Relight Magazine


By Alex Cook

The Get Up Kids are, for better or worse, easing into their roles as The Get Up Middle-Aged Men. But with their first release in seven years and having just completed a summer-long tour there’s an obvious Beach Boys-like demand for simpler, though equally angst-ridden, times. Enter Halifax-based alt-emo trio June Body with their sophomore release, Life from Underneath.

Part of a growing movement of Atlantic Canadian bands that are cozying up to the familiar once-rebellious genre, June Body are drawing their inspirations from bands of the late ’90s and early ’00s including Placebo, Death Cab for Cutie, Jimmy Eat World, Pedro the Lion, and Sunny Day Real Estate.

“I personally have always been very inspired by Placebo, and the reason I mention them is because I see a lot of similarities between ‘Life from Underneath’ and some of Placebo’s early records, which also were recorded when they were a trio,” says June Body’s guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter Connor James.

Life from Underneath is a serious leap forward for the June Body, moving from recording their 2017 8-track debut Star for You in a bedroom-turned-studio to Halifax’s Echo Chamber, working with Charles Austin (The Super Friendz) and AJ Boutilier (Designosaur). We lose the DIY charm of Star for You’s low-key lo-fi sound that seems synonymous with a genre that was traditionally delivered via terrible Napster downloads and bootlegs in the same way that you want to hear 50’s doo-wop through the warm crackle of radio. What we gain is a full spectrum of sound and a lot of polish.

The band also gained drummer Dillon Shillieto, rounding out the trio with James and bassist Alex Callaghan. James attributes the combined factors of Shillieto’s contributions on the drums, the studio recording, and mixing and mastering by AJ Boutilier that resulted in the album’s “big” sound.

“When we started playing with Dillon, we felt our sound evolving into a kind of big rock-trio kind of feel as opposed to the more soft-spoken lighter tones from our first record. Mainly because on our first record, I drummed-and I’m a novice at best. When we started working new songs, we felt the band becoming much more dynamic. It lent more to the style you get on the new record which is this loud, punchy sort of alt-rock,” explains James.

The band have since had Jonny Renken step in as drummer while Shillieto has returned to New York. Renken continues to perform with June Body, appearing on the band’s Ontario tour in promotion with the album.

“Thematically, the record centres mostly around a theme of depression that festers internally with nowhere to go–the idea that the internal you can become a personal ‘god’ of sorts that rules over your life in a negative way,” explains James.

The album delves through the theme of depression and coping, albeit handling it poorly. It lives up to its title, Life from Underneath, and the skewed perspective that comes with it.

“This extends to themes of forgetting about people who are there for you during periods of darkness, or thinking that relationships are meant to fall apart, when in actuality it’s just that depressed part of your brain seeping through and potentially convincing you that everything ought to fail.”

Fortunately and despite the album’s theme of depression, June Body are capable of glossing over poignant lyrics with catchy tracks, bookending their beats with an upswing for a low-key dance party. “Dead Eyes are No Prize” is the sort of song that deserves an impromptu late night dashboard drum solo. The spitfire delivery of lyrics on “Living Inside” is a presumed crowd-pleaser before it slides into a slow mid-song breakdown. The real big guns come out for the album’s grand finale. “How the Story Starts” is what the band have been pacing themselves for and their high energy finish.

For rekindling a genre that had been ground down to a fine dust over the last decade June Body’s Life from Underneath is a fine example. It’s a fresh take that shows promise, we just hope they cheer up before next album. - The East


Discography

Life from Underneath, 2018

River Never Runs Dry - Single, 2018

Star for You, 2017

Fragility EP, 2017


Photos

Bio

June Body is an alternative pop-rock trio formed in Halifax in early 2017. Visit www.junebodyband.com for more info.

Band Members