Julia & The Deep Sea Sirens: Family Pets
There is a tendency in Australian folk music to enter the room apologetically and without fuss. Singing about scorned ex-lovers with a quiet hesitation and then before their breath becomes a roar, vanish altogether.
Julia & The Deep Sea Sirens are none of the above statement.
Kicking down the door from the outset, Family Pets turns Julia’s emotional shipwreck into treasure. Warning listeners from the outset of “a growing sense we cannot walk our usual steps,” Julia quickly embarks on a sonic journey that shifts through moods at a rapid pace, from a wavering tremor of wild emotion on ‘Eyes so Blue’, to the more lighthearted single ‘Little Surprises’, (already hailed on radio stations), that deals with the unsettling second guessing of a blossoming romance.
An artist so early in her career, Julia and her Sirens present their musical ideas clearly with clarity and strength, songs sung with a voice some ten years her senior.
Leaving no stone unturned, Julia takes to the composition of her songs with a fine-toothed comb, allowing the space for melodies to assert themselves into the listener’s core. Title track ‘Family Pets’ has a vocal hook which calls from the depths below, both foreboding and encouraging those who partake to ensnare themselves on the rocks, or risk entering an emotive darkness.
Not just strong in the composition of her songs, Julia shows she has the chops and fingers to match as her voice leaps, jumps and somersaults across ‘Let Myself’, while allowing her hands to showcase her impressive guitar skills, showing that beneath the textures of ‘Family Pets’ there is more than simple four chord folk – an asset that will help Julia define her sound either solo, or with backing as she continues in her career.
Whether staring in the face of adversity, or playing coy, flirting with the danger of romance, Julia Johnson presents a fantastic sophomore record drenched in rustic textures that perfectly capture the suburban Australian woes and triumphs she has come to love to celebrate. An illustrious second outing that will certainly find itself a home within the Australian musical cannon; for lovers of Sarah Blasko’s ‘The Sea Wants What The Sea Will Have’ and Nick Caves ‘The Boatmans Call’, this is an album for you.
Review by Jack Colwell. Come back next week to read Jack’s interview with Julia.