Dean Sinclair is a man of action.
The drummer for indie pop band August Hotel stacks his time playing sets with Capital Soiree and The Mackenzie O’Brien Band, while also fronting Deanie Boy …
Wait, what’s Deanie Boy?
As one of the songwriters for August Hotel, McHenry native Sinclair is well-versed in filtering his thoughts and ideas through somebody else’s voice, somebody else’s delivery.
But with his two new singles released under the project name Deanie Boy today, that all changes.
“I just kind of figured it’d be cool or fun for me to sing what I actually wrote,” he said. “That’s something that I’ve never done before. I’ve never performed or recorded myself really singing in front of anybody before. It’s always been something I’ve been a little insecure about it, but I just thought, why not?”
Enlisting the help of Ember Oceans’ Freddy Purcell and Steven Rejdukowski of Capital Soiree for guitar, bass and engineering help, Sinclair readied Deanie Boy’s debut singles; “New York” and “Your Side” are two pop-soaked tracks that will breathe fresh air into this spring’s playlists.
Drawing in musicians from other projects also allowed Sinclair to experiment with Purcell’s process, which eventually lead to him recording some of August Hotel’s new material.
So what made these two Deanie Boy tracks and not, say, August Hotel pieces?
“I think these two were songs that I would rather have come from me personally,” Sinclair said.
Makes sense, when the songs are about exploring insecurities in relationships and questioning decisions about the future. The concepts might be universal, but the specifics are different for each person.
“And that’s not saying anybody I work with wouldn’t have been able to do it or is below my ability to say what I mean,” he said. “The songs are about me and I wanted to express them instead of somebody else taking my words.”
(“The pro about when you write something and someone else sings it is they’re singing all these cheesy lyrics, not you,” he added with a laugh.)
Sinclair’s connection to the songs was a driving motivation to create Deanie Boy, though.
“It’s never me sitting down and just trying to see what happens. There has to be a very intentional reason why I sit down and write in the first place,” he said. “That feeling of uncertainty, which is a theme I feel in a lot of us, I was just feeling a certain way I guess the day I sat down and wrote that song.”
While Deanie Boy does afford Sinclair a new level of creative expression, in the end he just wanted to try some things out in a fun way — note the whimsical logo and branding by August Hotel bandmate and designer Ryan Lammers.
“I want this to be something where each song can have a different lineup,” Sinclair said. “I just want it to be a collaborative, fun thing. I’m not trying to, you know, take over the world with this project.”