For Josh Bravener, music is all he’s ever wanted to do.
The lead singer and guitar player of local band The Hypochondriacs grew up with country music. His father was a pastor who impersonated Elvis in church and, once he turned six years old, Bravener quickly followed in his footsteps.
“He taught me the basic guitar chords and I taught myself after that,” Bravener said.
Bravener started playing solo around cafes in Fredericton as a teen. While in high school, he decided to start a band and asked his brother, Aaron Bravener, to be the drummer. But because his brother was in a successful heavy metal band at the time, he said “No, I don’t play that music. It’s hipster.”
“[Aaron] has always liked folk country music, but because I liked it and was his younger brother, he wanted to have his own thing,” Bravener said.
The younger brother kept on writing songs, and since there wasn’t a lot of what he was producing musically at the moment—young kid playing classic country music—he quickly picked up momentum within the Fredericton music scene. Soon after, his older brother changed his mind, and began playing with him. Four other friends joined and The Hypochondriacs was officially formed.
They released their first EP in 2013—back when then they were primarily an acoustic folk band. Now they would describe themselves as more of an electric rockabilly country band. “You also grow as a person and a songwriter, so the songwriting is a bit more in-depth than [the lyrics from] when I was in highschool,” Bravener said.
Four years later, the Hypochondriacs are ready to release their new album, “In ¾,” on Sept. 9, with a highly anticipated album release show at the Capital Complex.
“I’ve been sitting on these songs for years. Now we’re finally releasing them on vinyl, CD and online,” Bravener said.
The album derives its title from a musical time signature, ¾. When Bravener was writing the set of songs, “super heartbroken over this girl,” he would listen to old country records that were in that waltzy ¾ time signature. This led to a song with a verse about “how this woman walked out of my door in ¾.”
Bravener describes the new set of songs as a country heartbreak album with a very pedal-steel sound. “It sounds like an old country record, but on steroids,” he said. He hopes the album is something the Fredericton music scene has never heard before, but also has the familiarity of the songs grandparents listen to.
He looks forward to the release show with excitement. “Through the struggle and obstacles we’ve had to overcome, it’s finally happening,” he said.
These obstacles include members of the band leaving over creative differences, reforming the band, re-recording the album and having the audio engineer move out west, just to name a few.
“It’s just about time. We’re ready.”
Expect a high-energy performance, Bravener promises. Their live shows are “kind of a kick in the face. We’ve been know to spit beer on the crowd.”
The Galpines, a satirical folk and bluegrass band from Moncton will be making their Fredericton debut as show openers, while The Tortoise The Hare and The Millionaire will play an after-party in the Capital. Doors open at 9 p.m., with the show starting at 9:30 p.m.. For tickets and more information, visit Thecapitalcomplex.com.