Connor Garvey. Photo by Lauryn Hottinger

Singer-songwriter Connor Garvey wrote the songs for his latest album more than five years ago and is celebrating its release with a live performance in September, but you can listen to “Another End of a Year” now.

And if you’re a fan of first-rate songwriting with equally solid vocals and a tapestry of keen musicianship, you’ll want to.

“Another End of a Year,” which came out July 21, is home to 11 thoughtfully crafted songs punctuated by Garvey’s astute lyrics. He weaves in and out of hope (“All These Things”), despair (“The Boat”), wisdom (“Break the Cage”) and acceptance (“Water to the Well”) among myriad other themes. Garvey’s tenor vocals have a pull-you-in warmth and clarity that make them easy on the ears. He also plays acoustic guitar.

There was a time that Garvey used to wait for the songwriting muse to, as he put it, slap him upside the head. In more recent years, his approach has been more active and exploratory. “It really is the process of being present with writing that enables me to catch the muse when she walks by,” he said.

He certainly caught said muse with “Water to the Well,” the track he’s most proud of because of how it came out on the album. “I believe it in even deeper than when I wrote it,” he said. (All of the songs were written between 2015 and 2017, but raising young children during a move and a pandemic put the album, Garvey’s eighth, on hold.)

“But I don’t buy the stories you tell/And I can’t bring water to the well/I can’t make you love yourself/Like I do,” sings Garvey with sorrow-tinged sincerity. The song has a haunting feel to it with spells cast by Pete Morse’s electric guitar and Sorcha Cribben-Merrill’s backing vocals.


The other musicians on “Another End of a Year” are Dan Boyden (percussion), Colin Winsor (bass), Eric McDonald (bass) and Ben Cosgrove (keys). These folks, along with Morse and Cribben-Merrill, are a literal all-star cast of players who have been active for several years and are all at the top of their game. You’ll hear it on Garvey’s album.

The other track I unpacked with Garvey is called “The Song.” It’s a breezy, honey-sweet tune about the intoxicating early days of a relationship and the years that follow. But just when you think you can believe in fairy tale endings, cancer comes knocking in the final verse. “With her hands in my hair caught in a stare of disbelief/On the last chord can we have one more, can we hit repeat?”

The tune was born out of a songwriting retreat he participated in on Lake Winnipesaukee with seven other musicians. During one of the sessions, they were offered a prompt about writing the kind of song that was so good people would stay in their driveways to listen to it. With that in mind, Garvey thought about how important the presence of a song can be in the trajectory of someone’s life, through the good and bad parts.

“There’s a fight and then that song keeps you present, and you’ve got this incredible weight at the end and that song is still there for you, and it’s been on that journey,” he explained. “The Song,” despite the bittersweet ending, is upbeat and full of light.

Garvey started off as a drummer then picked up a guitar as a teenager. His debut album, “Hello Life,” was released in 2002. The South Berwick-born musician has won several awards from Kerrville Folk Fest, Rocky Mountain Folks Fest, SolarFest and Wildflower Art and Music Festival. Garvey also took home the prestigious Most Wanted artist title at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival in 2014 and was named a top singer-songwriter by the Sirius SM show “The Coffeehouse.”

Connor Garvey “Another End of a Year” album cover. Art by Devin Mauch, The Wild Electric

Garvey lives in Portland with his wife and two young daughters.

The celebration for “Another End of a Year” happens at One Longfellow Square on Sept. 25 when Garvey co-headlines a show with fellow singer-songwriter Edie Carey.

In the meantime, “Another End of a Year” is streaming everywhere. You can purchase a CD of it and his previous releases at, and vinyl copies should be available soon.

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