Julian, Slow Approach

Amelia Pitcherella

Julian

Julian’s approach to music-making is subtle and deliberate. The DC-based trio of Julia Leiby, Andi Garnher, and Cherrie Yu write songs that take time to settle, with lyrics that sediment in emotional weight as they’re repeated. In the fall they released smush, a potent debut EP with big drums and resounding vocals that recall Beat Happening in their honest cadence. While immediately upbeat and simple, the five songs veiled a deep feeling of want, of grasping for something just out of reach.

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Two new songs see Julian sliding into to a softer, more nuanced sound—Julia’s vocals are closer and the instrumentation is dreamy and cushioned. Ambivalent pairings like “Can’t get you off my mind / I’m glad you’re leaving me behind” give Slow Approach a quiet unease. Over warm arpeggios on “Leaving For Now”, sung lines like these catch on and stick. As Julia sings of dreaming of being alone, the volume builds ever so slightly until a clearing at the end, what might be an eventual release. Then the swaying B-side “Hair” shuttles us back into a more apparent sense of longing. “Do you think of me on your own / playing shows?” Julia asks, before the tugging reveal, “I bet you don’t.” There’s bitterness in these lines, but behind it there’s the softness of desire—whether that’s the desire to be with someone else or to be alone, or maybe both at once.

Slow Approach is out now on Apollonian Sound, and you can stream it below.

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