Brett McCutcheon & June Bracken

Brett McCutcheon & June Bracken

Brett McCutcheon & June Bracken

The Ocean

September 30, 2017, song-writer Brett McCutcheon lost his best friend, musical mentor and older brother, Ryan, tragically in an automobile accident. He was the one who taught Brett how to be inspired by composition. Growing up in a musical home, they spent countless hours playing drums together, collaborating musically and talking about life. The loss of Ryan left a space that Brett felt instantly. As a sophomore at North Allegheny High School, his bandmates shrouded him with love and propelled him to keep playing. He threw himself into his music because that is where he would still connect with Ryan.

Longtime friend and junior, June Bracken had already worked on new music with Brett. They had produced a song that after the accident was rebuilt in memory of Ryan. The two began writing more and that helped sort the pain Brett was experiencing. The result is three songs that mirror the stages of grief and encapsulate the vastness of loss. It’s sadness and purpose with hope to move forward. The songs are intricately delicate and beautifully constructed. McCutcheon plays all of the instruments on the EP except for Ryan’s drumming on first track, Sinking. Bracken’s voice is haunting and open. Every song leads to a destination unknown but tell the story of a brothers’ bond that is as wide and as deep as the ocean.

All proceeds from the EP go to the Rhythm 19 Fund.




Bio: Sinking
Music & Lyrics by Brett McCutcheon & June Bracken

The first song of a three-tiered journey, Sinking opens with a crash of waves followed by the sweet guidance of piano. Bracken’s gentle vocals are a stark contrast to the lyrics she is singing. These elements represent the first moments of grief, where it initially hits but you aren’t fully enveloped by the weight of it. As Bracken repeats the chorus, she is backed by drums played by Ryan. This piece was originally poised as a love song but rebuilt into the first song in this three-part narrative.

Bio: The Bottom
Music & Lyrics by Brett McCutcheon & June Bracken

“If life’s an ocean, I’m at the bottom of the ocean” is the haunting, dreamlike declaration of a loss. The dark, steady repetition of the piano captures the ebb and flow of emotional waves during great loss. From the bottom looking up, you feel alone as if the world is passing by without you.

Bio: Floating
Music & Lyrics by Brett McCutcheon & June Bracken

Floating, the third-piece of The Ocean, is the summation of all emotions. Bracken’s ethereal vocal is led by a piano melody that doubles as percussion bed. It’s a slow, steady march toward something greater. McCutcheon takes the chords from Sinking and changes the timing of them to evoke emotions of constant grief and constant change. Grief comes in waves – it’s not the same and comes at different times. “Some days I feel I’m drowning if I’m being honest. I’ll pick myself up and I’ll do as I promised.” McCutcheon says, “As I promised – is “(I) want to make you proud of me. I want Ryan to be proud of me.”

As the impetus of what should come next, McCutcheon wants the listener to draw from their own experiences and hopefully connect personally to the music. He say’s “The three songs are joined together – and in the end “you want to move on but you don’t want to forget.”

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Sunday, September 30, 2018 @ Blueberry Hill Park, Blaines Way



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