Richmond singer-songwriter Julia Louise used to front the extremely crunchy emo band Stay In, who sounded like the bridge between Lemuria and early years Jimmy Eat World and absolutely ripped, but now she's gone solo. Her debut album Love Jail – recorded with Alex Estrada with a backing band featuring Lukas Previn from United Nations and David Haik from Pianos Become The Teeth / United Nations – comes out through No Sleep Records in October. Those are the facts. Now for the feelings.
Julia Louise makes me wish I had actually stuck with the guitar I dropped my piano lessons to master, in order to impress a boy because it was considered a "cooler instrument". Julia Louise has a voice that cuts through the chaos around you like a very assertive and pronounced spoon tapping the side of a glass, stating: "Hello, yes, the outside world doesn't matter right now because I am singing about the things that bother us – me and you, the one listening – and that's all you need to focus on for the next 17 minutes on this bus ride to Elephant and Castle." I wish Julia Louise had been on bills with all the all-dude bands I grew up watching as a 14-year-old, to validate my constantly belittled feelings.
The first cut from Love Jail, which you can listen to below, is called "Brat" and it's basically a much-needed empowerment jam for when everyone in your life is being the worst. In Julia's own words, "Brat" is about "thinking your friends are kind and loyal and then they trample all over your heart for fun", while Love Jail as a whole is about "feeling trapped because you have no control over your own feelings. It's about someone else being in the driver's seat of your emotions."
Been there, tbh. Instead of taking it on the chin, though, write a record, crush a PBR and kick a mail box about it, why don't you? That's what Julia Louise is doing, and it seems to be working out because this song and video both perfectly capture the those micro-moments of fury where the memory of something lame someone did seizes your brain like the sensation of ice on sensitive teeth, and you inadvertently clench your fist or roll your eyes back in the mirror or kick something. Only it's different, because it's been turned into a bitchin' fuck you anthem, which is extremely satisfying.
Love Jail will be released on 13 October and you can preorder it here.
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