It’s a wrap: Singer-songwriter celebrates end of yearlong song-a-week project

Santa Fe-based singer-songwriter Sean Healen will perform songs from his 52-week music project. Courtesy of Sean Healen

Sean Healen enjoys challenges.

His latest one took 52 weeks to complete and he’d do it again if he had a chance.

During the last year, the Santa Fe-based musician teamed up with local radio station KBAC on a weekly show.

The idea is simple – Healen would do a 10-minute show and present a new song each week.

“I have a huge catalog of music, and it wasn’t too difficult,” he says. “To be finished with it now, it feels amazing.”

Healen will have a wrap party for the project from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 15, at Santa Fe Brewing Co.’s Beer Hall, at 35 Fire Place in Santa Fe.

Although Healen will be celebrating the milestone, he’s already thinking of a way to amp up his next project.

“I’d like to do a different type of show,” he says. “I want to feature New Mexico and Texas musicians. It would be great.”

Healen’s profile is rising on a national level. He spent most of 2019 performing outside the state. His musical style is compared to those of Leonard Cohen and Steve Earle.

For the project, Healen sifted through nearly 2,300 songs that are in various states of being recorded.

“It was a blast from the past,” he says of the process. “It was an excuse for me to go in and mine for the songs. I remember what I was feeling when I wrote some of those songs close to 15 years ago.”

Helean’s songwriting style has evolved over the years. He’s stepped away from writing confessional songs and writes from different perspectives.

“I don’t pore over the songs too much,” he says. “My average writing time is an hour. I can write up to five songs in a day. Lyrically, it has to be strong, and the melody has to accompany that. It has to be memorable.”

Healen will continue to tour in the new year and has plans to head to the United Kingdom to perform.

As his career continues to move forward, Healen has become more comfortable in his life.

“It’s funny, because we spend our whole lives working,” he says. “As we get older, it’s about deconstruction and not conforming. I enjoy performing,s and I’ll do it as long as I can.”

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