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Women & Girls: Releasing EP cathartic for Sudbury woman

In becoming a mom, Jessy Brunette thought she’d retired from music (aside from playing the Wiggles), but she decided that needed to change after her marriage ended
Sudbury musician Jessy Brunette.

The day Jessy Brunette went back to performing was the day she signed her divorce papers. It was also the fifth anniversary of her mother’s death.

In her earlier life, the Sudbury woman, who describes her style as folky pop, had been involved in the local music scene, releasing an EP, “Mystery Muses”, in 2011 and an album, “jack and emmylou”, in 2012.

But then life happened. She gave birth to her daughter, Luna, and rather than gigs, she was performing Wiggles songs for an audience of one.

Her marriage ended two years ago, and she’s now a single parent. With the death of her mom, she’s navigating parenthood without that crucial support.

The cover for Jessy Brunette’s new EP, “Cosmic Daves Studio Sessions”. Supplied

With the end of her marriage, Brunette, who works from home in the insurance industry, decided she missed music and taught herself guitar again. Then she made the jump and went to an open mic at the Knowhere Public House in downtown Sudbury.

“I'm pretty open on stage,” she said. “I basically have no filter. So I mentioned I got divorced that day, and it got a big cheer. I don’t see it as a bad thing. It was best for the both of us.”

Brunette recently put out her second EP, entitled “Cosmic Daves Studio Sessions”, which references the fact that it was recorded at Cosmic Dave’s here in Sudbury. 

She worked with David A. MacKinnon of Fembots, who also worked with her on her previous projects before her mini-retirement. An album release party was held at Knowhere Public House on June 8.

Because of everything she’s been through in the past 12 years, recording the EP was a cathartic experience for Brunette.

“Writing about all those things that have gone on in my life has helped me heal in a way,” Brunette said. “It just kind of put everything into perspective in my life.”

Her EP has songs that deal with the topics of divorce and co-parenting, although the latter tune makes her cry so much, she doesn’t play it very much.

One of these songs is called “Sapphire Stone,” and talks about what she’s going to do with her wedding rings, with the answer being trading them for a sapphire stone. It turns out that the end of relationships is a theme many people can identify with.

“When I performed that song for the first time, at an event last year, a woman came up to me, and she said how much it touched her and how truly connected she felt to that song. And I'm like, ‘Whoa, I thought this just applied to me,’” Brunette said.

Besides her newer material, the EP also features two of Brunette’s older songs that were never recorded.

“One of those songs is called ‘Big Yellow House,’” she said. “It's kind of like my hit song. Everyone asks me to play it all the time.”

The song (which you can listen to below) is a made-up story inspired by a yellow house in downtown Sudbury that was torn down some time ago and turned into a parking lot, which seems to be a common thing to happen here.

I just thought, ‘Oh, I wonder who lives there, and what kind of story would they have?’ And then it was torn down one day. And I was like, ‘Oh, I have a story idea for this.’ So that's how Big Yellow House came to be. And to this day, people still love it. And I'm like, ‘This is cool.’ It's my most played song on Spotify.”

If you’d like to check out Brunette’s latest EP, you can do so online here.

Heidi Ulrichsen is’s assistant editor. She also covers education and the arts scene. Women & Girls is made possible through our Community Leaders Program.