Juliette Jules- Black Crow EP Review

by thethreepennyguignol

Like a blend of Sharon Van Etten and Cat Power, Juliette Jules slid onto the scene like a thick cream last May. First picking up the guitar at age thirteen, she was discovered singing by music producer Peter Karroll and has since launched a career producing dreamy, woozy numbers that hinge around her lush voice and rich lyrics.

Black Crow EP was released only a couple of months ago, and already has earnt almost endless re-listenable value. Only five songs long, it’s got a heavily retro influence, the five tracks held together by simple orchestration and a soaring vocal performance from the young Jules. Intelligent, wise, and earthy, she even dares to take on the Leonard Cohen classic Hallelujah, the great bane of all the great vocalists, and manages to bring something new to it. To make her mark on a song so iconic, so overtly explored, is brave, and her crackling voice, sparse orchestration, and refusal to settle for just straight perfection bely her sixteen years.

And that’s the big takeaway from this album: how can this girl possibly be sixteen years old? Take songs like title track Black Crow- clearly driven by influences from decades ago, they drip with musical history and depth. Her voice evokes a wit and wisdom that isn’t held back by her sense of fun. EP opener Johnny Was is a brisk, catchy song that sounds more like a movie soundtrack than it does the ramblings on a teenager. Bringing to mind hot days and friends who own guitars, it’s an intelligent, explorative number that does it’s best to pay homage to great music of yesteryear while looking forward to defining a style all of it’s own.

Overall, it’s an EP to be proud of- a mission statement with attitude, style, and skill.

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