The Rockin’ Krolik Confesses the Joys and Pangs of Middle Age on Raw, Relatable ‘Shedding Skin’ EP

Nearly three years in the making, Shedding Skin, the new six-song EP by Ajax, ON-based The Rockin’ Krolik (a.k.a. J.F. Perotin) is a raw examination of past relationships, personal growth, loss of loved ones, and addiction. It’s the kind of album you make when you’ve turned 52, as Perotin did this year, and you have some of the hard-earned wisdom and maturity to formulate something deeply meaningful – and relatable.

“I wrote songs letting go of filters, self-judgment, Imposter Syndrome, and all that BS,” Perotin says of Shedding Skin, which he began writing back in 2022.

With its mellow rockin’ groove, “W.Y.K.Y.K.” (“When You Know, You Know”) pays tribute to emotional intelligence and listening to one’s gut to get the right answers. “In short, it’s being tuned in to the energy of the universe and what you perceive when interacting with people – it’s all magnetism,” Perotin muses. “Ebbs and flows, tension and release.” And then the song brings in the strings for an epic, purifying ending.

It’s difficult to reach middle age without at some point contemplating your own mortality. On the jangly, moody “Tie Me Up,” Perotin contemplates the constant ticking of the clock. “It’s about coming to a point in your life where you know there is no stopping it or slowing it down,” he explains.

“Say It” examines those moments in life when we can’t find the courage to say the things we want to say. It’s about missed opportunities and lost loves and the little wistful pangs inside the heart of anyone who’s lived for a while. A choir breathes extra life and soaring poignance into the track, turning it into a tearjerker.

The soulful, percussive “Numb in the Rain” contemplates addiction and numbing escape. “We all have our demons, and all have stuff going on in our lives that we think we can’t cope with,” Perotin acknowledges. “There is a way out, although the song doesn’t give that sense of hope – on purpose.” The song brings back the tension of the album’s opener “WYKYK,” urging the listener to embark on some of their own soul searching.

Written in half a day, “I Need A Change” captures the restlessness of feeling stuck or tied up in chains, a common sentiment for any artist. “Really drives me mad to feel I’m being held back,” Perotin admits. “I support myself and my family with a 9-to-5 job but my heart is with my art 98 percent of the time.” The song’s urgency and honesty is its own catharsis, falling into a gliding groove that morphs frustration into motivation.

Shimmering with a naked bravery reminiscent of James Taylor, “The Sand On My Toes” is a song Perotin always gets emotional singing. “Yeah, I know I’m weird crying to my own song, eh?,” he says, chuckling. But it’s a deeply personal piece, infused with conflicting feelings of love and resentment for his father, who passed. “Because he’s gone, although some questions are left unanswered there’s acceptance of the discomfort and ultimately no denying he lives in me somehow.”

The Rockin’ Krolik is a French-born Canadian singer/songwriter. Pearl Jam, The Cranberries, Alanis Morrisette, and Tracy Chapman are among the artists who inspired him to pick up a guitar and start his musical journey in his twenties. He always wears his heart on his sleeve, whether he writes or performs live. He strives for meaningful connections with people by leaving a piece of himself in every song he crafts, with personal and vulnerable lyrics.

In 2021, The Rockin’ Krolik was nominated by the OMAs for “Singer-Songwriter of the Year” for his song “More Than Enough” inspired by Gwen Tuinman’s novel We Are Enough.