It is hard to pin down what exactly Sean Bruce has been doing. He oddly places himself in new settings, a constant spark curious to see all things. In recent years, he’s been hiding from the songwriting stage, performing drums internationally, booking music festivals, organizing community events, painting houses, waiting tables, and recently, finishing college. He’s humble in his work, something he refers to as practice. But if you ask about what he’s been up to, he’ll say, “I’m working on a record.”
This Louisiana-based singer/songwriter took a curious approach to write and record his fourth studio album, Along the Edges. This time, he paced it much slower and that approach wound up to birth a full length album, his most curious and experimental to date.
“I grew up never really asking questions. I was taught to listen the first time, and that’s how you got ahead. But, I discovered the power of curiosity and what that can do for you.” He revisited his lyrics to truly understand where they came from, and that allowed him to see beyond the fabric of his songs. He partnered with producer and guitarist, Chad Viator, and started stacking soundscapes that have never been heard on his records before. Sean’s mentor and drummer, Chris Munson, co-produced and served as the mixing engineer, wrapping up a record that is both warm and edgy.
After Staring at Maps (2016), Sean finished college with a music business degree and began digging his way into community development finding nonprofit work in the music sector of his hometown. Determined to lend a hand to fellow musicians, he started up his own music label and began recording music and showcasing local talent at music venues. Eventually, he was booking and coordinating live music events and festivals for national acts. This position took a toll on his creative mind, which led him to eventually retire that life and focus back on songwriting.
“I’ve never been the leader type. It’s just not me to be at front end up the battle with that mindset, you can lose yourself in that. Maybe I was playing a spy without knowing it.” This spy game allowed Bruce to see beyond the industry and look inward. The questions continued to present themselves.
If you look along the edges of Sean’s fourth studio release, there are many hidden gems throughout. It’s held up with contemplative lyrics at parts where he analyzes the Big Bang Theory while drifting through space. Bruce ponders on evergreen trees and stares out at the Polynesia Islands from a lonely sandbar. He also played banjo and drums including other odd musical trinkets, like triangle and muted piano strings.
After 10 years of performing, his credit is well deserved sharing stages with some of his heroes such as Anders Osborne, Marc Broussard, Amanda Shires, Mandolin Orange and Todd Snider. His music has allowed him to tour the US performing venues as small as coffee shops to larger stages like New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. In 2013, he won a national songwriter competition hosted by Denver based company, LARABAR which landed him in California opening for his musical hero, Gregory Alan Iskaov.
“I hope this record brings up curiosity. Not all music has to be easy listening. It’s about diving deep, exploring, and rediscovering its root.” Sean Bruce resides a bit quieter these days swimming mindfully through the masses. He’s forever exploring, pondering and writing, a lifestyle that keeps him searching along the edges.