The fifth album from Bahamas, Sad Hunk, takes its title from a nickname bestowed upon the artist by his wife in reaction to how he was being portrayed in the media, “Something like ten years ago I did a photo shoot, and in all the pictures they sent back I was lit half in shadow, looking all brooding and mysterious,” says the award‐winning singer/songwriter otherwise known as Afie Jurvanen.
“When my wife saw the photos the first thing she said was, ‘Whoa—sad hunk,’ and after that it became sort of a joke among our friends.”
It’s a fitting backstory for an album that embodies an undaunted self‐awareness, each track graced with Bahamas’s wry wit and unabashed heart. In sketching Sad Hunk’s delicately composed batch of songs, Jurvanen drew much inspiration from his home life and all the joy and struggle that comes with building a family together.
Having recently moved to the coast of Nova Scotia with his wife and two daughters (ages three and five), the Ontario native inevitably imbued the album with the sleepy idyll of his surroundings, even while committing to a sometimes‐painful sincerity in his lyrics. “I definitely use music to work things out for myself,” says Jurvanen. “It’s possible I’m too open sometimes, but I really don’t know any better way to be. If I tried to just go write fun songs about hot dogs or something, I’d probably fail.”
Nominated for Best Engineered Album, Non‐Classical at the 2019 Grammy Awards, Earthtones won Adult Alternative Album Of The Year at the 2019 JUNO Awards. Jurvanen also received this accolade for Bahamas Is Afie in 2015, when he was also named Songwriter Of The Year. Jurvanen created Sad Hunk with those same collaborators as Earthtones ‐ Christine Bougie (guitar), Don Kerr (drums), Mike O’Brien (bass), and Felicity Williams (vocals). Recorded by longtime producer and multi‐Grammy nominee Robbie Lackritz (Feist, Jack Johnson, Robbie Robertson), Sad Hunk is the next step in Afie’ virtuosic signature style of restraint as a guitarist.
It also features the graceful guitar work of Sam Weber, a virtually unknown musician whom Jurvanen discovered on YouTube.