June Body


It’s the spring of 2017. Connor James is on the couch when Alex Callaghan stumbles through the front door. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to barge in on you like that. I was expecting there to have been a mudroom.” It’s the first time the two are meeting. Alex puts down his guitar and wipes off the half-frozen Halifax slush he tracked in. He’s there in response to an ad Connor had posted online earlier that week. “Looking for musicians to join a project called June Body,” it read. “FFO: Death Cab for Cutie and Jimmy Eat World.” A musical bond is tethered between them almost instantaneously. From the moment they begin rehearsing what will become the first June Body songs, they unknowingly set into motion a new wave of Halifax rock lore. A week later, the two are trying to find a way to fit a drum kit into Connor’s bedroom. It’s their idea of a studio–and it’s in that North Park Street bedroom in Halifax that they will track the debut June Body album, Star for You (2017).

“Thirty seconds, guys!” says the stage manager. Six years have passed. It’s the spring of 2023, and a fully-formed rock trio called June Body is thirty seconds away from opening for The Beaches in front of a sold-out, two thousand-person crowd. The band now has years of touring around the country under their belt–countless performances that have prepared them for this opportunity. The newest addition to the band, Matt Schofield, goes up the ramp first and sits behind the kit. The other two are close behind. The crowd roars. The amps come out of standby, and for thirty minutes, the two thousand in attendance are glued to the infectious rock sound the trio has been incubating for six years. The songs are new to nearly everyone in attendance–yet a nostalgic familiarity permeates the rhythms, and has everyone bopping and moving in time with one another. Connor James’ memorable one-liners, soaring vocal harmonies, and hooky passages begin to give way to unexpected explosiveness. Without warning, the poetry is backed by insane stage action. The band is unleashed in the bridge of “Living Inside,” with forcefully gritty guitars in odd rhythm pulling raised hands and cheers toward them. Like a blur, the set is over, and the band is hightailing it to their merch table in the lobby. They arrive to find dozens patiently waiting in line to buy their June Body shirts, and greet the band that had seemingly just come out of nowhere.

“Why don’t we build our own studio for this record? We did it with Star for You, and we can do it again, but better.” It’s a suggestion that’s welcomed by every band member, and it sets into motion plans to convert Matt’s ancient family cottage into a studio to record a new album in the summer of 2023. Of course, the band would have to live there until the record was done. The rickety wooden “studio” is far out of town, built on the ocean along the Northumberland Strait. For a week, the band would channel the June Body they had always been since the very start–stuffing amplifiers into different rooms, locking each other in makeshift vocal booths, and precariously hanging the most expensive microphones they had ever rented from the loft–all in the name of DIY experimentation. They would sleep surrounded by all the gear they had managed to fit inside. And on the last night of May 2023, the three would agree they had finished the album. They would strip down, wade into the ocean just as the sun set, and give it a name: Last Everythings.

Last Everythings (2024) sounds like June Body in their truest form. It’s a culmination of the band’s growth on a musical and personal level, and is their first outing to feature the post-production prowess of an indie rock legend, Jace Lasek. Having mixed and produced beautifully organic-sounding records for Land of Talk, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, and The Besnard Lakes–the Juno and Polaris Prize-winning engineer felt like an obvious choice. Lasek has delivered a high-fidelity, large rock record that by no stroke of luck, bears the definitive June Body sound. The album will be the trio’s first vinyl release, after signing with the Halifax boutique label Fresh Biscuits Records to release a limited edition colour-vinyl run.

The band’s sophomore release, Life from Underneath (2018), foreshadowed their current sonic tastes. Its punchy production on songs like “Plan for Us” indicated a divergence from the tender and thin aesthetic of songs on their debut, such as “Hospital Bed Clothes” and “Exit Signs.” Life from Underneath also served to kickstart June Body’s touring career. This incubated the prospective sound of their follow-up album, Never Here for Long (2021), where the goal was to make a record that made the listener feel as though they were in the crowd at a June Body show. It is inherently raw, imperfect, and gritty. The album solidified a sense of tragic specificity and forthrightness as a staple of Connor James’ lyrical style. “I was writing songs about leaving the relationship I was in, and I didn’t even know it,” says Connor James on the lyrics for Never Here for Long. The new album, Last Everythings, is a snow globe of the scenes before, during, and after a breakup. It is a venture into the subtle, heartbreaking domestic details of an ending.

But for June Body, this is only the beginning.




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