Moonface: Julia With Blue Jeans On.
Similar Artists: Wolf Parade, Frog Eyes, Erik Satie, Sunset Rubdown
Genre: Singer-Songwriter, Canadian Indie Rock, Solo Piano Performance
I have a confession to make. I’m kind of infatuated with depressing music — specifically heart sweeping piano ballads with theatrically inclined male vocalists — and it has been affecting my well being. For one reason or another, I’ve been craving this feeling of intense loneliness; maybe it’s because it makes it easy to feel alive, maybe because it causes me to think more, or write better, but what I do know is that Julia With Blue Jeans On, the new release by Canadian indie god Spencer Krug, sure gives me that feeling.
Released under his genre spanning Moonface alias, after the likely eternal demise of both Wolf Parade and his other solo project, Sunset Rubdown, Julia brings the nakedness that has for so long been a concept behind Spencer’s lyrical motifs to the forefront of his aesthetic. All 10 tracks are composed of solo acoustic piano and, of course, Spencer’s inescapable singing voice. The bulk of his releases — both solo and full band oriented — have been built around his near operatic performance level, and this is no exception. In fact, Julia ranks as perhaps the most emotionally volatile release in his prolific career.
The subject matter, as you might expect, is personal, and often devastatingly so. Like his previous Moonface release, the dramatic, post-rock swept Heartbreaking Bravery, this is the story of a lost love. It is through this misery that he is capable of unveiling his ultimate catharsis; which is all the more affecting when pitted against his sprawling, yet minimalist inspired piano figures that ebb and flow through extended running times. “Dreamy Summer”, the lengthiest track at nearly 8 and a half minutes, is actually one of the more relaxed, optimistic pieces, but it needs to be, as the ones surrounding it, “November 2011” and the title track, are two of the most high strung. The former is particularly poetic, as it vividly recounts a passionate love affair that was doomed before it began. These are songs about serious things, and decisions we must make that are neither black nor white. Topics such as the self destructive nature of man, losing one’s identity, and an insurmountable amount of self-pity all take a part in Spencer’s illuminating woe.
Brought up as a classically trained pianist, this is the sound of Spencer returning to his roots, which he seemed to have been in a constant state of disagreement with for the bulk of his career. As his past has now caught up with him, it seems his soul has as well. With the bare bones presentation, we are seeing him here as more real, more sincere, and possibly even more talented than ever before.
2.) Everyone Is Noah, Everyone Is The Ark
3.) Barbarian II
4.) November 2011*
5.) Dreamy Summer*
6.) Julia With Blue Jeans On*
7.) Love The House You’re In
8.) First Violin
9.) Black Is Back In Style*
10.) Your Chariot Awaits
Album Highlight – *