Following up a successful single release earlier this year, Far North Queensland singer-songwriter Brealyn Sheehan is set to release 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 started to form in my mind."
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 is set for independent release on Friday 15th April 2016. For more information, please visit www.brealynsheehan.com