For the QC
The shoulders of strangers that smelled of sweat and cologne rubbed against mine in a large space that was decorated with butterfly artwork and fairy lights. The red and yellow lighting, the flashing of cameras that made the shadows of the dancing crowd appear on the walls every few seconds, and the faint images projected on the walls made me feel like I was floating inside a red lava lamp. With the sonically pleasing blend of heavy guitar distortion and feedback entering the ears of the energetic crowd, a small mosh pit formed behind me while nearly everyone bobbed their heads, jumped and danced around, and flung their hair wildly. The rising band from Los Angeles, julie, was performing a few feet in front of me. I nearly lost my balance and almost fell on top of the crouching photographer near my legs when the guys next to me joined the mosh pit. The guitarist’s eyes were flicking back and forth between his electric guitar, the crowd, and the effect pedals near his black and white Vans. The bassist was strumming the thick strings of their black and white Fender bass with black fingerless gloves on their hands while she sang with a smooth voice. The drummer’s dark hair that covered his eyes would sway with the movement of his drumsticks alternating between the cymbals and snare drum, which produced a powerful pulse and clashing noise. The band trio, julie, performed on Aug. 14, just two days after the release of their EP, at Junior High in Glendale, a non-profit space that supports and empowers artists in the community.
The band was formed in November of 2018 when Keyan Zand, the guitarist and vocalist, met Dillon Lee, the drummer, in highschool and started julie together. Shortly after in May of 2019, Alex Brady, the vocalist and bassist, joined julie. After the release of their single “flutter” in 2020, which currently has over two million plays on Spotify, julie has been discovered by listeners all over the nation. Although their music is primarily under the genre shoegaze, the band shared that they are constantly pulling inspiration from several different genres. The band is a lot more interested in the distorted aspects of shoegaze because it appeals to them and it is evident and audible in their songs. Shoegaze emerged and peaked during the 1980s and 1990s and the pioneers of the genre were mainly from the U.K. The most recognizable elements in the layered textures of shoegaze include the heavy use of guitar distortion, reverberation, and feedback with the accompaniment of dreamy vocals that create an enchanting atmosphere. Cocteau Twins, My Bloody Valentine, and Slowdive are the main bands that are associated with the shoegaze genre. The band revealed, “late 80’s to 90’s music has inspired us a lot, especially bands such as Sonic Youth, My Bloody Valentine, Swirlies, and smaller acts like Henry’s dress or Mad Planets.”
Their new EP, pushing daisies, was released on Aug. 12, 2021, and the songs have grunge and noise pop elements that blend together to create a piercing and explosive sound. Fans quickly noticed and praised the unique and sublime artwork julie uses for their covers, and it turns out the art is collaborative between the trio, but Dillon Lee, the drummer, creates the illustrations. In fact, when asked about what they envision the future of the band to look like, the band stated, “we are working to have julie act as an art/design collective alongside making music.” The band also admitted, “there are some unreleased songs that we’ve been working on, and these are typically the most fun for us to play live.” The band usually has shows in Los Angeles and have performed in the past few months in Downtown, Glendale, and Santa Ana. They will be performing with the band Greer on Nov. 6 at the House of Blues in Anaheim. If you decide to check julie out, make sure to bring ear plugs because I lost mine at their show and left the show with ringing in my ears. However, I also left the show feeling satisfied and excited to attend more of their shows in the future.
Featured Image: Courtesy of Shelby Silva