When I received Pete Dubuc’s new seven-song EP, “The Ship,” I had no idea of the journey I would be taken on. I did not realize I was to be brought on an emotional ride, one of great testimony to love, relationships and death.

Not that those subjects are new in artistic expression, but Dubuc releases something exceptional within the essence of this EP.

Meandering through one man’s brain as he so painfully and beautifully articulates the loves and losses in his life, I became a voyeur on his ship, bumping along in the rough seas and mellowing in the tranquil pools right along with him.

In a world where new musicians seem to be trying every little trick in the book to get noticed, Dubuc’s style is a welcome, simple one. Incorporating straight-forward strumming on an acoustic guitar and using his voice to elicit his deep dip into the abyss of the wonder of death and moving on — while sparsely utilizing electric guitar and bass — he hits a nerve of steely vulnerability, if that is possible.

The first track, “(Don’t Forget To) Don’t Go” contains upbeat guitar strumming and lovely melodic folk-rock singing with some perfectly laid-back vocal harmonies on the chorus. The subtlety was really beautiful, and it made me want to dive in and listen more closely.

The standout track on this EP is the title track, in which Dubuc is not shy talking about his muse. It was written right after his mother passed away unexpectedly, and is a beautiful anthology of words, melody and straight-up heart: “Now the ship has sailed/ To some other beautiful harbor/ To some other port in the storm.” 

The honesty of this track brought tears to my eyes, and any shell I had been hiding inside cracked open. I felt that if he could expose his gift this way, then I have the responsibility to accept and feel it.

Every song on the EP is really good, very well produced, and soul-searching and heart-wrenching at the same time. Even with all the serious content, one would still would be able to listen with a light heart and enjoy this music without needing to shed a tear, because in the end, Dubuc shows many sides of himself.

He can appeal to many a listener’s ear with very beguiling and true Americana/folk/rock, and with an empathy to tenderness and truth in this mysterious yet auspicious world. 

Kristin DiCara-McClellan is a local freelance writer. She can be reached at:

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