While covering another artist last year, I came across another artist who caught my ears, playing a couple shows up in Vermont during the same time: Julia Brown. Hailing from Virginia and now residing in New York City, Brown falls into the singer/song writer catagory. Her 2008 album, Strange Scars, is her second album, and is an intense, emotional acoustic rock album. The press release for the album on her website notes: Your songs are just your life looking back at you, and after listening through this album, I would say that's a fair assessment of her music.
This album feels very much like it is an album that is both revealing and personal to Brown, with songs like Unburden and In Hurt's Arms, coupled by her fantastic voice and background musicians. Yet, the album doesn't sound bitter or resentful, but thoughtful; one that observes the world and life around her. There is a wonderful connect between her sound and her lyrics throughout this album, and I find myself drawn to a number of the songs on it as I listen through the track list.
While listening, I've been thinking about the singer-song writer genre as a whole, and I have to appreciate their music, but also their courage for what they write: often putting to paper their own troubling experiences and reactions, moments that most of us would rather forget than relive night after night on a concert circuit. While many of us take advantage of them for what they do, they have an incredibly difficult job: my hat is off to them.
Brown brings an intensity to this record, one that I really don't hear much from with Singer-Songwriters. Her songs feel real, raw, and interesting, and is the stuff that makes us come back to songs time and time again to find stories and possible solutions to our own lives. Where their songs might be mirrors to their lives, we listen to music because we relate to what they sing about, and certainly, there's something to be gained by listening to this record.
Unburden - Julia Brown
1000 Paper Princes - Julia Brown