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Free Music Friday: Connor Healey

(The Verge) – Free music is the best way to start the weekend. Okay, maybe there are better ways, but (legal) free music is still pretty awesome. So The Verge will be kicking off your weekends with free tunes every Friday this summer with our Free Music Fridays.
This week we have Connor Healey’s “Working Title” EP, which is up for free on Bandcamp. At seven tracks, this EP runs a little long, but it still left me wanting more. According to Healey, this was exactly his intention. “I wanted to put out a record that was a short enough length that you could listen to it and feel like you wanted more, but still feel like it was a complete idea,” he said.
The university junior is only accompanied by his guitar and his voice, making the genre a little hard to place. Healey thinks he is probably in the indie pop genre, but he attempts to mix. “I combine elements of folk and punk music to try to write songs that are more interesting than typical pop songs. If Johnny Cash were from suburban New Jersey, he would probably play the same type of music,” Healey said.

Pictured here is Connor Healey, a rising musician in our area. Photo courtesy of: Connor Healey.

His songs are catchy, but his lyrics are really what struck me. They are incredibly honest and blunt. Some bands can work with indirect lyrics. Fall Out Boy has lyrics that are sometimes harder to decipher than Shakespeare, and that went pretty well for them. That’s nice, but you know what’s also super awesome? Being direct.
“I’ll let you decide which is worse: white lies or force feeding your ego,” Healey sings on “Harry.” This, right before he calls someone an extremely vulgar phrase. Healey gets to the point and makes sure the audience can’t miss it. That’s for sure.
The EP isn’t the happiest of records, but it captures Healey’s first year of college. He wrote them during his freshman year at a school in New York.
Healey said, “The album focuses on the changes that I went through when I first went away to school. The challenges of moving from home to school in NYC, dealing with relationships ending, and coming to terms with who you are. The overall concept behind ‘Working Title’ is being a work in progress.”
The confusion and adjustment of freshman year is displayed really well throughout. “Working Title.” Healey sings, “I have no idea what you’re going through, going through.” The frustration and pain in his voice on this track, “Lance (The Dragon Master)” is so clear. The emotion is really just striking, especially for the opening track, and that’s what Healey was going for.
“I wanted a raw sound so I did all the recordings live and in one take,” the music performance major said. Healey recorded all songs in a single four hour session at Harvestworks Digital Media Arts Center with Paul Howells.
“Working Title” has some great tracks, but “Franco” is one of my favorites. Healey sings, “I need a girl who wants me for my body/My personality just isn’t working out.” His music is just relatable. You’ve probably felt the emotions these songs describe countless times. Quite honestly, it was a really refreshing break from love songs. That isn’t to say Healey is ignoring songs about girls, but he certainly doesn’t get sappy.
Basically, “Working Title” would be worth your money, but Healey is giving it away for free. Healey said, “Free music is awesome. I think it is genuinely the best was to share your art with the greatest number of people.”
You can download “Working Title” at Healey’s bandcamp page. Check out connorhealey.com or his YouTube page for more from Healey.
A look at the preview of Healey’s EP, “Working Title.” Photo courtesy of: Connor Healey.