I’m sitting in the cosy bottom floor of El Rocco’s at Bar Me (154 Brougham Street, Kings Cross). The room is warm, while dimly lit and the crowd seems almost at home in the candle light. I’ve arrived for Julia Why – who contact me via TMB.
The lights dim further, the candles appear to brighten as the crowd warms while Julia introduces herself to the room. Her guitar opens with strong, binding rhythms.
When I listen to her voice: it’s warm, almost haunting. Her articulation is nice: almost Irish/UK – nice round tones over deep melodies. Maybe a hint of Evanesence, but there’s something stronger there, something else, something deeper (and less opraratic). She doesn’t say much – she doesn’t need to.
I really enjoy Julia’s control and inflection with the notes – memorable steps careful phrasing, good use of rhyme. Her rawness, and openness with the crowd speaks volumes of wisdom beyond her years.
Julia’s lyric choices are definitely not your ordinary lyrics – and they have a really nice dynamic between being quite raw, and shaping some very pretty metaphors. They appear to be quite honest.
“The wine is too far away.” Best line. She just said she’s looking for a bass player – and honestly, she read my mind! This would sound great with a full band behind it.
Julia – wow, what a show. These are some great foundations to set.
My steam of consciousness from the night (interesting, not always well edited ;))
Song 1:- Love the lyrics to this first piece. This escapism. You can hear it. I love it. You can hear her breaking away from her mind – this is what music should be like. This is what live music is for. Wow – this song is still really getting to me: it’s beautifully chaotic.
Just opened up into a bridge: her voice softens and releasing a much deeper approach to the words. Almost surrendering to the light (or the darkness?) and brings it back nicely to the intensity and depth of the previous verses. This progression isn’t unlike things I’ve been familiar playing with.
Song 2: while this piece mightn’t be as strong on guitars, her vocals (perhaps cause she’s relaxing now with the crowd) have really come through. The chorus of this song offers strong dynamics and is very singable.
Song 3: another guitar rhythm piece. Yes, her voice has definitely settled where it should be. Julia is really demonstrating her ability to play guitar and sing rhythms that are quick contrasting. I really enjoy the phrasing of the words in this piece, lyrics are very pretty scenes of the ocean, matching well with her choice of higher octaves. Timing might need some work – but hey, that’s what drummers are for.
And she’s back into the main melodies. Nice. Her voice breaks away with a sweetness. So far, enjoying the range of abilities in the vocals.
Song 4: I like the chords here. Beautiful little intro breaking into a chorus that seems to drift like a fog, it moves through the room and passes through you. Her finger picking is very noticeable here: strong, while delicate. Her new strings might be tripping her up, but her flawless vocals pull all the crowd through it.
Maybe..maybe..maybe.. love this lyric progression.
This song, backed wiht maybe some keys and a xylophone would be delicately delivered with her haunting vocals over the top.`
Song 5: Make me a bomb
I listened to the song title here. ANother great finger plucking piece. Her vocals slide between the notes flawlessly again: really enjoy the strong vocals here. Dynamics are great through the phrasing. Yes, definitely at this dynamic her voice shines. I love this beat of this song, straight up and down. Wow – the way the way this song ends, you can see/hear/feel her finding her real space here.
Again – her surrender to the words and music make it a great experience. As the song ends, you can tell she’s been lost in it.
Song 6: The song with no name
Dark. Very dark. Longer notes from the vocals here. The guitar is merely the vessel for sorrow. Much like the first, this song has me. Trapped. This is hurt, this is pain – right on stage. Her voice is so much more controlled in this piece – as if she’s trying to burst through, but can’t (or won’t).
“And I’ll end up burning”
That’s a strong line. The chorus just kicked in, and for the first time in the set, you can see her reliving what she’s been through, Julia’s no longer looking at the room, she’s looking into the memories.
From here, it’s the bridge: this would sound amazing with some splash and crash symbols behind it.
Again – she’s surrendering to the pain and darkness (“In the light we fade“) her powerful strums and voice fade away.
Strong 7: Last week’s song :)
I want a guarantee: don’t you dare hide canaries sin your cage. They sing before your cave falls in.
A slower progression here. The first verse repeats, and she builds back with the crowd. Drawing them in, deeper. Her strumming here is unique to the set, and it provides the rhythm and structure that perhaps a bass and kit could: she’s controlling exactly what we hear.
Again, her nihilism (“I don’t believe in anything”) breaks through, or is surrender again? She’s pleading with her antagonist here.
But she never has to plead with the crowd. We’re all hers.