Julian Thomas, who also goes by the nihilistic stage name Never, is your quintessential over-achieving city kid: confident, self-aware, ambitious. "It's too late to realize I'm ahead of my time" he intones over the sidewinding synths and clicking hi-hats (courtesy of Roy Woods producer FrancisGotHeat) of his new song "Hold This." The flipside to that brashness–melancholy introspection–is the vulnerable heart of the song, as Thomas substitutes the plaintive repetition of "If you love me, can you let me know?" in lieu of a second verse. It's the sound of that rickety, unsure climb to the top but Thomas makes it his personality, his M.O., and owns it fully. His forthcoming project, Poortraits of a Man, is coming soon.
Thomas describes the track as "a dark yet hopeful song that describes and questions the value of relationships. To me, this record is a very personal look at choosing battles, swallowing pride, and earning a strong sense of self." Listen to "Hold This" below.
Phil Witmer is a Noisey Canada staff writer. Follow him on Twitter.