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Sunday, June 16, 2024

June Body’s Last Everythings explores the end of a relationship

The Halifax indie rock band's third full-length album is available now.

What’s the connection between a store in Thailand and an indie rock band in Halifax? The answer lies in their shared name, June Body.

It’s about that moment where you realize that it’s the last day you will be in a relationship with someone, and you realize this is the last coffee, walk and talk you will have together. It’s the last everything. – Connor James

“The name came from a store that I discovered in Bangkok when I was travelling there before the band was even a thing,” says June Body frontman Connor James. “I was walking down the street, and there was this body piercing store called June Body. I turned to my partner and said that if I ever started a band, it would be called June Body.”

True to his word, James decided to name his band June Body when he formed the trio in 2017. “I always dreamed of being in a trio,” explains James. “I had always idolized bands that have either stayed as trios or started out as one.”

Despite briefly toying with adding a second guitarist early on, bass player Alex Callaghan convinced James otherwise. “I realized that the dynamics of a trio afforded each person an opportunity to shine,” he says. “Besides, Alex is such a dynamic bass player who fills the space with lines and melodies that a lead guitarist would normally fill.”

Now seven years in, drummer Matthew Schofield, the band’s fourth since forming, joins James and Callaghan to release June Body’s third full-length album, Last Everythings, available now on vinyl and streaming.

The album chronicles the journey of a relationship from beginning to end and takes its name from the opening track. “It’s about that moment where you realize that it’s the last day you will be in a relationship with someone, and you realize this is the last coffee, walk and talk you will have together. It’s the last everything,” says James.

A personal album for James, Last Everythings explores the stages of a real-life relationship. It is also the first album for which he wrote all the songs in just three months. “I would finish one song, and I would already be super inspired with a new idea,” he says.

With the songs complete, the trio began looking for somewhere to record the album. They found it in an unconventional location. “We recorded it in Matt’s family cottage, which sits along the Northumberland Straight, where from the back deck you can actually see P.E.I.,” says James.

The rustic cottage, built over 100 years ago, was precisely what the band needed. “The idea was that we wanted to be isolated as a band to make the record because, in the past, we broke up recording, and it was so disjointed that it alienated us from actually making the record,” says James.

That isolation allowed the band to immerse themselves fully in the process. “We wanted to make sure it sounded cohesive and could have fun as a band doing it together,” James continues.

The cottage’s layout allowed the band to experiment with different microphone placements, including suspending a top-of-the-line Neumann U 87 from the loft above the drums in the main space to record the room sounds. “We didn’t know if the mic would do anything, but when we sent it to our mix engineer, he said it was the best part of the drum recording,” says James. “And you can actually hear it in a couple of the songs.”

With the recording complete, the band again turned to Halifax artist Jameelah Rahey, who created the artwork for its 2018 release Life from Underneath, to design Last Everythings, the band’s first vinyl offering.

June Body's Last Everythings is available now.
June Body’s Last Everythings is available now.

Inspired by the song Secondhand Things about finding items in the house from a relationship after your partner has left, Rahey pictured an image with little trinkets and miniatures scattered throughout the cover. “She did such an amazing job,” says James. “She really listens to and digests the music and then comes up with a concept for it.”

After shooting 40 images, the band chose four for various parts of the physical recording. “The person the album is about actually bought me the bulldozer that appears in one of the images,” says James.

Joining the vinyl trend, the band’s record label, Fresh Biscuits Records, decided to release Last Everythings on coloured vinyl. “Their concept for album releases is to have a standard edition, and then, in addition, they have what they call their library edition, which has a library card on the back with signatures and little fun notes for each copy,” explains James. “Coloured vinyl is also a big selling point, so we tried to match the colours that stand out on the album cover.”

With the album released today, June Body has a busy summer planned to promote it. They will perform at the North by Northeast Music Festival in Toronto on June 12, followed by their Halifax album release show at The Seahorse on June 22. An all-ages release show at Radstorm in Halifax is scheduled for July 27. The band then plans to tour the album in the fall.

June Body’s Last Everythings is available now on vinyl and on streaming services. For more information on the band, visit them online at junebodyband.com or follow them on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and YouTube. Their music is available on Spotify and Apple Music.

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