Julia Brown

Julia Brown

BandAlternativeSinger/Songwriter

New York singer-songwriter Julia Brown’s dark, dreamy singer-songwriter pop is reminiscent of classic, otherworldly artists like Kate Bush, Thomas Dolby, and Andy Partridge. Powerhouse vocals, intelligent lyric, groove-inflected storytelling.

Biography

Julia Brown’s music isn’t just pop: it’s soul-infused, smart art rock that isn’t afraid to take chances. Even the sweet stuff has rough edges. A brief introduction to this songstress: Julia Brown is a New York City transplant from Richmond, Virginia, with a warm, infectious energy and a voice that will knock you over if you stand too close.

But she’s quick to remind you that she’s a songwriter first. The thoughtful, incisive lyrics are the icing on the cake – the chord changes and wordplay create an urgency that draws you in, while letting you draw your own conclusions. Heavily influenced by classic British pop singer-songwriters: Kate Bush, Elvis Costello, David Bowie, Andy Partridge, Julia has been songwriting since she was a teenager.

Her first album, Jubilant Newborn Alien Haze, garnered outstanding attention and praise from the music media. In addition to winning the first Windrift Songwriting Competition (out of 4,000 entries worldwide) and becoming a finalist in the USA and Billboard songwriting contests, she was named Unsigned Artist of the Month by Keyboard Magazine and featured as a Performing Songwriter Top 12 DIY Pick. Jim Beam recognized her Julia as an “Emerging Artist in Music” and awarded her a grant for a successful East Coast radio promotion – which led to her songs being featured on several prime time MTV television shows.

Her new album, Strange Scars, was produced by the legendary drummer Anton Fier (The Golden Palominos, Lori Carson). Fier brought in a host of players who have worked with the likes of The Psychedelic Furs, Dave Gahan, Art Garfunkle, and Imogen Heap. Strange Scars consists of nine rich, nuanced compositions, with lyrics that express the complexity of one human experience. Among the album’s many themes are self-exploration, growth through pain, and reaching self-acceptance.

Lyrics

Sunday Streak

Written By: Julia Brown


my rusted halo was left so long out in the rain
it’s my unlikely song, but i’m singing it again
i left you naked, but you left me this ache
and so i guess we’re even

all the angels have come to watch me bear the weight
the headiness of distance and separation’s strain
you stopped my breathing when i caught you in my chest
i guess the party’s over

you’re killing off my sunday streak
there goes my sweetness
i grow another skin to get through this
to just get through this
you’re killing off my sunday streak
there goes my sweetness, my sweetness

i laid my cards down, then you said all bets were off
saved the crowbar for the crack in my resolve
split it somewhere down the middle, the pieces fall
and now the party’s over

you’re killing off my sunday streak
there goes my sweetness
i grow another skin to get through this
to just get through this
didn’t know it would cut so deep into my weakness
an amazing thing how you release the beast in me

i hung in too long, swung blindly in hope
from the end of your rope, with all my senses fading
with our story undone and this blood on my tongue
the taste of iron and rain, something fearless remains

here’s where i get it, this must be the end
turn on the searchlight cause the dogs are loose again
they keep me bleeding, but i swear that i won’t break
until the dream is over

Ayn Rand

Written By: Julia Brown


a hundred miles beneath the earth now
it’s a blessing and the reverse now
oh babe, i’ll tell you why it hurts now
saw you reading ayn rand on the subway
caught the thought swirling above me
you have found me
and you have found me out

your face, it bends into a rorschach
a million shapes are gracing your portrait
testing everything i thought i knew
saw you reading ayn rand on the 2 train
the light from inside you was blinding
do you know me? do you know me?

silence speaks and the holy rise
silence speaks through the holy, the holy, the holy

there’s a warm free country
in my heart (that’s what i wanted to say)
there’s a warm free country
in my heart, in my heart, in my heart
there’s a warm free country
in my heart, in my heart
behind a face as cold as russia on a sunless day

so you’ve caught me drifting on a slow dive
our visions cross, the wires have gone live
you will know it’s only heaven i see
i want to follow you back to where you stay
wanna know, wanna know what lays inside
draw the map from yours to mine

cause silence speaks in the holy rise
only silence speaks, and the holy’s the goal – holy

i saw you reading ayn rand on the avenue
reached to touch your shoulder and ask you
if you would know me by the things i seek
but babe i’m stuck between the chords now
it’s a blessing and a regret now
oh babe this is what i get now
this is what i get now

Unburden

Written By: Julia Brown

love comes up to take another hard swing
oh no, try to keep your head
when you’re all strung out on dry desperation
not a sliver of backlight to guide you

life will take your arm
twist it till you start to cry – do not be surprised
there’s so much that you carry on your shoulders
running hard on the inside

but you gotta be light as a feather for that climb up to the moon
so much sorrow to unburden
till you’re light as a feather for that climb up to the moon
and all i want is to unburden you

love gets lost in mirrors and smoke rings
leaves you there to seethe sometimes
jumping at distorted reflections
love is too scared to breathe sometimes

but there’s no reprieve and no escape
when the walls are made of past mistakes
so you
you breathe
breathe in
out in, out in, out in

til you’re light as a feather for that climb up to the moon
so much sorrow to unburden
til you’re light as a feather for that climb up to the moon
and all i want is to unburden you

now

love comes up to take another hard swing
then love gets lost in mirrors and smoke rings
keep your heartbeat slow, my love
and listen close, my love
lean on what you know, my love
until grace comes calling
until grace unburdens you

1000 Paper Princes (Eve's Lament)

Written By: Julia Brown

something in my history keeps me running in my sleep
at the canyon’s burning edge – I’m stumbling over
the medallion swinging just out of reach
here they keep the prize hung low
i jump out of bed all red with fire, and then stumble to indigo

but i dreamed of 1000 paper princes
and they’re ready to break my fall
1000 paper princes stand ready to break my fall

they never tell you what it’s gonna take
when you trade a bite of apple for the wisdom of a snake
they just leave you jumping up and down
on your bough until it breaks

but i dreamed a line of paper princes
were ready to break my fall
1000 paper princes stand ready to break
i dreamed 1000 paper princes stood ready to break my fall
a line of paper princes stand ready to break my fall

can you do that for me?
make me believe that you’re gonna
do that for me
make me believe that you can do that for me
do that for me
can you, can you do that for me?
make me believe

we laugh and everybody knows
we shout and all the world can hear
cause something in our history
keeps us safe, keeps the coast clear

it’s a line of paper princes to break my fall
i dreamed 1000 paper princes stood ready to break my fall
a line of paper princes stand ready to break

i dreamed 1000 paper princes stood ready to break my fall
a line of paper princes – cause I’m ready to break

Hole

Written By: Julia Brown

i’m looking for ways to my second grace
when did i let it all leak out
like slow pouring sand through trembling hands
i let it go and let it leak out

storm cloud is weeping, hear the tears hit the roof
hole in my ceiling with the rain coming through
and i cannot drive it away
away

i shadow and pose, alone with these ghosts
seven days past the fallout
singing static through a bullhorn, crackling and airborne
seven days past the fallout

silence is seeping through a hole in the floor
endless and deep is the dark at your door
but i cannot turn
and i cannot drive it away
away

you wrote your message on me then left
gone the way that night goes, night goes
i’m waiting at this dark jagged edge
for dawn to make the night go, night go
away
away
away
away

away

In Hurt's Arms

Written By: Julia Brown

slow down the dance, just a quick delay
just a temporary stall, just a quiet space
for just a thin glass heart, to just let it break

i found the ground then i hit it hard
can’t wish away the sharp and jagged shards
i could not save me
i could not learn to see in the dark

now there’s only one way to fall (down)
now there’s only one way to fall (down)

what was it i saw, what was it i heard
a blur of motion, tangled ugly words
no plan could gather the warm i need
no part of me has ever been freed
from the taste of salted earth
that sends me back to seed

now there’s only one way to fall (down)
now there’s only one way to fall (down)

i am in hurt’s arms, you cannot touch me here
i’ve already come to harm, you cannot touch me here
all the pieces raw, every part
is slowing down to feel
is reeling from it

from the only one way to fall (down)
the only one way to fall
and i’m flying from the net, flying in a free fall
flying from the cage, flying in a free fall
was in a place i could not stay, soul needed to free fall

love is one way to fall
so lead me on the way to fall

Pieces of the Species

Written By: Julia Brown

on the street you see the day in sharp relief
searching deep and greedy
feeling needy cause you’re needing
just a little more time – but time is dead
though you can’t say how you killed it
can’t account for the minutes that filled it
it’s just ego and will driving the drill
wanting you packaged and primed
in this cool millennium
drummer boy is banging on his drum
waiting like Mohammed for the mountain to come

oh, you keep your eyes closed

you’re crumbling back
no, the battle is not what you thought
and after the slap of a covert attack
you’re looking at every mistake
every gaping crack in the road
see it fissure and shake, and shudder and break
the halves are not making one whole
the hole is out of your control
in the valley you stole
still you’re waiting like Mohammed
for the mountain to roll

oh, you keep your eyes closed
in the wake of the lightning blast
too much exposure for your photograph

it’s okay, let your limbs go slack
days from now the shock will bring you back
and if you don’t like the world that you see
just paint it in chromakey
flip the switch for a change of scene
but then everything levels, the angels and devils
float just like, float just like you and me
all pieces of the species, just pieces of the species
the same pieces of the species against a blue screen

oh, you keep your eyes closed
oh, can’t keep your eyes closed
in the wake of the lightning blast
too much exposure for your photograph

Puer Aeternus

Written By: Julia Brown

the fire burns today, and so it begins
from this brand of suffocating only you resuscitate me
the wind came hard today, i am waiting for words
until they come i’m a good little leaf
blowing down a cold, cold street

the sky was taken over by an eclipse of the sun
can never get too certain or too smart
when you’re tripping in the dark, so far
there are scars on both my elbows and a tear in my side
but i’ll find another pony to ride when it’s time

cause i am the boy, the one who won’t land
puer aeternus in the hurricane’s hands
and i’ll fashion a way to fend off the fever crashing
to fend off the fever crashing

the fire burns today, so we are praying for rain
to bring us flowers and calm the thunder
the wind came hard today, blew a break in my stride
like the touch of a benevolent devil
or a kiss blown from a crazy saint

the sky is taken over by the hailstorms within
can never wish for sunlight to descend
when a darkness begins in your skin
warm bloodlines flow, a sign of life underground
it’s time to bring the wild horses around, it’s time

cause i am the boy, the one who won’t land
puer aeternus in the hurricane’s hands
and i’ll fashion a way to fend off the fever crashing
to fend off the fever crashing
the fire burns today on this mountain of dreams
danger’s always closer than it seems
from the top of this deep ravine

it’s such a deep ravine, I’m looking over the side
until the moment the moment arrives
to spread eager wings and dive
when the clock strikes seven it’s time, it’s time
it’s time, it’s time, it’s time, it’s time

London Days

Written By: Julia Brown

london days
here the raindrops carry the heaviness of centuries
dripping tales of kingdoms and of crusades and disease
they color this foreign one

london eyes
the deepest blue was swallowed by the quiet life
you sent your scream across the atlantic
and i heard you sigh
dream of my foreign hands

darling i never said it
but i will carry this feeling
until the time, until the place we meet again
how i wished to be somewhere else
how i wished to be somewhere else
wished so hard to be somewhere
somewhere you’d be familiar to

taxicabs
so much bigger in the back
we’ll have him take us there
locked up in a kiss so blissfully unaware
and undress our foreign wounds

you can’t help picking scabs
you open up the scars, you can’t help but begin
until the pain wells up again and time again
it’s something i understand

and darling you don’t have to say
that you will carry this feeling
until the time, until the place we meet again
cause i know you wish to be somewhere else
how you wish to be somewhere else
wish so hard to be somewhere
somewhere you’d be familiar to

it’s a shame how you break my heart
and i hate how you break my heart
but i’ll wait til you break my heart
sad but true, i’m so familiar to you

Discography

Jubilant Newborn Alien Haze (2001)
All Words and Music by Julia Brown
Produced by Christian Cassan

Strange Scars (2008)
All Words and Music by Julia Brown
Produced by Anton Fier

Set List

Julia normally plays 1-2 sets of original music that can vary in length from 45 minutes to 1.5 hours each.

Original Songs:
Sunday Streak
Ayn Rand
Unburden
1000 Paper Princes
Hole
In Hurt’s Arms
Pieces of the Species
Puer Aeternus
London Days
We Can Have It All
Coffee In Your Teacup
This is Your Day
Eternity
Instinct #1
Can’t Be Calm
Down to One
1000 Miles
Number One Boy
Dancing in the Boneyards
Come Like Soldiers
Drive
Willow Song

Julia will occasionally include one cover song per set. Songs she has covered include:
Wrapped Around Your Finger (The Police)
Deep Dark Truthful Mirror (Elvis Costello)
Four Seasons in One Day (Crowded House)
Subterranean Homesick Blues (Bob Dylan)
Overkill (Men at Work/Colin Hay)
Like She Was A Hammer (Joe Henry)
Dreams (Fleetwood Mac)
Black Hole Sun (Soundgarden)