Local singer-songwriter Sean Conway has been a familiar face on the Peterborough scene for some years, playing solo and with a number of groups (Evangeline Gentle, Nick Ferrio, The Avenues). In 2014, Conway spent much of the year in his bedroom recording studio, putting together a series of four EPs. Now, as Conway heads out on a west-bound tour with musical partner Gratia Leitch, we take a look at his latest, Party Talk.
The first thing you may notice about Party Talk, and the rest of Sean Conway’s music, is its decidedly lo-fi sound. This is a “bedroom recording” in the truest sense, self-produced at Conway’s “Chateau Hunter” apartment, with almost all instruments covered by Conway and Gratia Leitch. It’s not the cleanest or prettiest sound out there, but it’s hard to beat for whispery intimacy and immediacy.
There’s no filter here – just simple, classic, lovely songwriting. Party Talk at times feels like a throwback album, pulling from classic rock’n’roll and country, doo wop, pop, and soul; but the result always feels authentic, playful, and inviting. The songs on Party Talk are vulnerable pieces about self-doubt and failure – relationships plagued by secrets, people who can’t break old patterns, an actor with a lisp.
Conway himself, on the other hand, is pretty winning. He’s a charmer on stage, with an easy confidence and an obvious joy in performance. This is especially true when playing with his musical partner, Gratia Leitch.
Leitch is a classically trained pianist and trumpeter. She joins him on both instruments, but the muted trumpet, while a pretty unexpected addition is this style of music, is pretty lovely (see: “Party Talk,” “Actor With A Lisp II”).
Now, the pair are headed out on a west-bound tour. Following kick-off shows in Toronto and Peterborough, they’ll pass through Thunder Bay and Winnipeg on the way to a series of dates across Alberta and British Columbia.
See full tour dates and listen to the album below.
Fri. Aug. 14 – The Local, Toronto ON
Sat. Aug. 15 – The Garnet, Peterborough ON
Tues. Aug. 18 – The Apollo, Thunder Bay ON
Wed. Aug. 19 – The Cavern, Winnipeg MB
Fri. Aug. 21 – The Auditorium Hotel, Nanton AB
Sat. Aug. 22 – The Auditorium Hotel, Nanton AB
Sun. Aug. 23 – The Ironwood Stage & Grill, Calgary AB
Mon. Aug. 24 – The Owl Acoustic Lounge, Lethbridge AB
Tues. Aug. 25 – Inspire Cafe, Medicine Hat AB
Wed. Aug. 26 – Twin Butte Country General Store, Twin Butte AB
Thurs. Aug. 27 – The Hideout, Red Deer AB
Fri. Aug. 28 – Cha Island Tea Co., Edmonton AB
Sat. Aug. 29 – The Last Chance Saloon, Wayne AB
Sun. Aug. 30 – The Last Chance Saloon, Wayne AB
Wed. Sept. 2 – Skinny Fatjack’s, Vancouver BC
Thurs. Sept. 3 – The Railway Club, Vancouver BC
Party Talk, and the rest of Sean Conway’s music, is available on Bandcamp.
See Sean Conway and Gratia Leitch live this Saturday, August 15 at The Garnet (more info).
All images courtesy Sean Conway.