Julia Brown
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Julia Brown

Band Alternative Singer/Songwriter


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"jubilant newborn alien haze"

Despite the title, this is NOT a Guided by Voices album. Virginia-to-Manhattan transplant Brown is infernally difficult to describe without resorting to lists of otherwise completely unrelated artists who she occasionally vaguely resembles. So I’ll just make a couple of observations. In this album’s press kit, Brown says that Duran Duran’s Seven and the Ragged Tiger inspired her to become a songwriter, and to be honest, her lyrics have the same stream of consciousness impenetrability that was Simon Le Bon’s stock in trade.

Happily, she’s also a terrific singer, with the scratchy emotional intensity of Lisa Germano and the controlled warmth of Beth Orton, and as opaque as the lyrics are, you can still tell that they seem to mean something to her. Brown has created a remarkably varied album that touches on numerous styles, often within the same song.

Oh, all right, I’ll just make the list: I hear Tapestry-style singer-songwriter rock, Kate Bush-like art pop, Beck-esque sampledelic whimsy, Elvis Costello’s slippery vocal melodies and elastic sense of song structure, Jill Scott’s try-anything once spirit and the emotional intensity of Aimee Mann minus the soul-baring lyrics. Singer-songwriters as eclectically gifted as Julia Brown almost never reach the audiences they deserve, but anyone who doesn’t hear the loping, acoustic-guitar-driven “This Is Your Day” is missing one of the most sublime pop treasures of the year. This is someone to watch.

- Amplifier

"Performing Songwriter - Top 12 DIY Picks"

With elements of R&B, trance, electronica and soul, Julia Brown’s first record succeeds as a fresh and vital update of modern, intelligent pop music. Maintaining a steady diet of Elvis Costello, Neil Finn, and Andy Partridge from her earliest development (and I do mean early – Brown began writing songs at age 12, extending her repertoire to 100 originals by age 16), the NYC-based artist wears her influences well. However, while each of these consummate songwriters seem always somehow present, they serve merely as starting points for Brown’s fully-realized, groove-inflected storytelling.

The case for debut of the year (DIY or not) is made early with “Victims and Villains,” a smooth yet insistent album intro that features vibrato-laced guitar trading bars with heavily processed keys. As Brown’s supple vocals weave in and out of the loop-drenched track, the breezy effect (recalling, inexplicably, the dream-state evocation of the album’s title) is achingly seductive. “Instinct #1” follows strong, as the showcase shifts a bit to Brown’s incisive lyrics. As in the yearning complement of “Invisible,” the heartbroken characters in “Instinct #1” (Or, the instinct to retaliate when hurt) seem similarly “stuck in the ice age of regret.” The vulnerability on display here, buttressed by the highest of singing registers, makes it hard not to want to be won over. Highly recommended.

- Performing Songwriter

"Blue Coupe Magazine"

Impressive in its austere beauty, economy of production and brilliance of performance, JUBILANT NEWBORN ALIEN HAZE is a breathtaking debut for this talented singer/songwriter.

It’s all too rare to stumble across albums worth telling your friends about. And it’s certainly never the big, gonzo, hell-bent-for-groupies bands getting heavy top 40 rotation. Everyone knows who they are, anyway. People who know I review music often ask me who I like and what I tell them is that I have become a big fan of the underproduced, the home-recorded and the do-it-yourself artist, the independent and those who don’t always follow the well trodden path.

It’s a relief to step back from the din of screamin’ divas and love-sick boy bands and listen to something that becomes more than the sum of its parts simply by adding less. Once in a while I’ll have the privilege of hearing something that impresses me for its austere beauty, lack of heavy production and minimal cast of talented players. Singer-songwriter Julia Brown’s debut album JUBILANT NEWBORN ALIEN HAZE is an absolute gem that had me hooked from the opening bars.

JUBILANT NEWBORN ALIEN HAZE shares much of another album’s economy of production and brilliance of performance; that of David Grey’s (sic) White Ladder. Like Grey, Brown has used only a handful of people to get the point across. With only herself and producer Christian Cassan sharing instrumental duties – plus the addition of Alfred Buonanno’s singular but indispensable contribution of fretless bass on the beautifully atmospheric “Eternity” – Brown, who wrote all the songs and supplies all vocals, has created an album that is spacious and radiant. And despite the seemingly not-so-over-the-top technical futzing, JNAH is wonderfully and immaculately produced. It’s perhaps because of this lack of overworking that it comes across as spontaneous and fresh.

JUBILANT NEWBORN ALIEN HAZE is an exceptionally rendered set of songs that sound both familiar and unique; fusing rock, pop, folk, electronica and a few alternative beats. Citing influences such as Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Bob Dylan and – the True King – Elvis Costello, Brown pays homage to her influences without ever becoming derivative. Songs like “Just Like That” and “We Can Have It All” have a decidedly Costello feel both musically and lyrically without sounding ripped off. The songs run the gamut from the torchy “Invisible” to the rock/bluesy “Coffee In Your Teacup” to a quirky 40 second tune-ette – an unlisted song 11 – and Brown’s beautiful voice tackles them all with equal strength and tenderness.

One of the few negative things I can say about JUBILANT NEWBORN ALIEN HAZE is that the title is a mouth full. But I’ve been practicing: so I don’t screw it up when I tell my friends.

- Blue Coupe Magazine

"The AllMusic Guide - Review"

From the first discordant notes of “Victims and Villains” to the gentle if passionate strumming of “Coffee in Your Teacup,” Julia Brown’s debut album, JUBILANT NEWBORN ALIEN HAZE, explores a variety of musical textures without seeming like a mishmash or a muddle. Her voice is warm and folky and really gets a chance to stretch out on the passionate “Instinct #1,” but her real strength is her songwriting, which allows her to explore elements of folk, R&B, alternative, and pop while still tossing out a meaningful lyric or two.
- The AllMusic Guide

"The Aquarian - Review"

Forgive me if this seems like a stretch (for it is), but wrap Laurie Anderson in Macy Gray’s feathered boa, and you’ve got a hint at where this drop-dead eclectic is tuning in from. But just a hint – the rest of it is all Ms. Brown – earthy, pure, evocative. Another shade – like Gray’s sorely needed in the less-than-vibrant pop spectrum.

- The Aquarian


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



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.