Juliana Sparks

Juliana Sparks

 Toronto, Ontario, CAN
BandPopAcoustic

Finely crafted songs about love, loss, life and possibility in a pop-folk vibe - sweet vocals and lush guitars to soothe your aching heart..

Biography

Born in Montreal, Canada, singer-songwriter Julie Sparks knew at an early age she was going to be a musician. Born into a creative family, she was nurtured by parents who supported her artistic leanings – her Dad, a talented artist who worked for the National Film Board as a rep, provided the visual.

“My earliest memories are of my Dad taking my brother and I on Saturdays to work, and then we’d run to the screening room, where would pull anything we wanted off the library shelves and thread the projectors ourselves. I was watching Norman McLaren, Ryan Larkin and Charlie Chaplin before I knew how important those filmmakers were. When I write songs now, I’m always thinking in terms of film, so the visual had a strong impact on my work…”

Julie’s mother was the writer in the family – “My mother’s family was unusual, because my Grandmother was a single mom in the Depression years. What was interesting was her love of words – my mother tells of her mother pushing the stroller down the street with kids in tow, reciting poetry from memory. Because the library in Wallaceburg was limited, my grandmother would order books by mail-order – Thomas Hardy, Yeats,…the classics. I was encouraged to read anything and everything, so the writing came very naturally...”

After discovering the coffeehouse scene in Toronto, Julie began her career as a singer-songwriter, working in small rooms with an acoustic trio. “When I first started writing, I realized that I was much more influenced by the folk music I had grown up listening to – women like Joni Mitchell and Ellen McIlwaine. So I decided to put together a band with that kind of sound – and I discovered open tunings. I became obsessed with going to Telluride to see the Telluride Bluegrass Festival. So I got on a bus with a friend, and we went all the way to Colorado. When I heard that music, I knew exactly what I wanted to do. A musician friend at the time, heard my stuff, and thought I should meet Justin Abedin. He really got it, and so we started playing together. One day, I was talking to him about doing a record, but how I couldn’t find the right producer. And he just said, why don’t I produce? And it made so much sense…and then all the jigsaw pieces fell into place…”

With the support of Ontario Arts Council and Canada Council for the Arts, “Juliana”, Julie and Justin’s CD collaboration, was released in September, 2007. “It’s been a long road, but it’s been worth every bit of heartache and hard work. I have been very blessed, no question, and I’m so happy to be surrounded by so many supportive and talented friends and musicians. It has been a great year…sometimes it’s hard to believe, that we really did it…and it’s everything I’d hoped for.”

Lyrics

Lately

Written By: Julie Sparks

I have a picture, I crave a memory
What I'm supposed to be
I keep on digging
I need more dynamite
None of my clothes fit right

Lately I got a year older
The weather got colder
Turned off my TV
Found something else to do

It's not the first time
I lost my parachute
I let the strings untie

Lately I've come to my senses
Stopped putting up fences
And taking photographs
Trying to make it last

Lately I got year older
The weather got colder
Tried not to think of you
But there's nothing left to do
Lately
Lately
Lately

Lost to You

Written By: Julie Sparks

Battles won, the costs of pride and lust
Of blame, of innocence
Once chastened, scorned, I've learned to live without it
But to love is all no more than that
Don't we all deserve a second chance
Refrain from playing cool
Admit you're only human too
Who knows you better than a friend
I could tell you more but I am lost to you
Explain to me cause I don't have a clue
If it's freedom that you want
You better live it up
I've got to choose
I'm afraid to lose
But I have lost
Chaos unanticipated, that is where I'm situated
I find no peace of mind anywhere
Oh console with those faithless eyes
But don't lecture me, don't analyze
I'm tired of being used
As an example of what not to do
Who knows you better than a friend
I could tell you more but I am lost to you
Show me which way down this avenue
If it's freedom that you want
I better give it up so tell the truth
I'm afraid to lose
But I have lost
Surrender, surrender, surrender
Please
Surrender, surrender, surrender
Please
Surrender, surrender, surrender
Please
I could tell you more but I am lost to you
I'm tangled in intention misconstrued
All I have is what I'm not
So you better give this girl some latitude
I could tell you more
I could tell you more

Cross Your Fingers

Written By: Julie Sparks

Cross your fingers, don't forget to cross your heart
Cause I've got fifty thousand reasons you and I will fall apart
If you banked all your tomorrows
I'd be sure to disagree
Cause I've got a vault of poor excuses dogging me
Close the window, don't forget to lock the door
Got no time for false illusions, not a virgin anymore
It would take a month of Sundays
And forever looks like rain
But for now I'm too tired to explain
CHORUS So hold me tight
And turn out the light
Turn out the light
Say what you want to
And I'll do what I can
I'm too far gone for going nowhere
Too far gone to take a stand
It's a bitter you swallow
As you weaken by degrees
Pretty soon it's sure to have you on your knees
CHORUS
High, low, medium, slow
Gear it way down where you don't want go
I'm stuck in the middle but I'm dialled right in to your radio, radio, radio, radio...
So hold me tight
And turn out the light
Turn out the light
Cross your fingers
Don't forget to cross your heart
Cause I've got fifty thousand reasons
You and I will fall apart...

Rain

Written By: Julie Sparks

Every single sentence ends with a sigh
Every song I try to write becomes a sordid lullaby
Every tie we cut always seems so clean
Hardly speaking never saying what we mean
And these pictures of you keep on turning round
And this rain in my head
Keeps on falling down

Every clever cryptic turn of phrase
Reminds me of the damage
As I sleepwalk through the haze
I'm so tired I'm in bed by afternoon
I'm still terrified of waking up too soon
And these pictures of you keep on turning round
And this rain in my head
Keeps on falling, falling down

Every time I turn another page
Every door I open another version of the same
I'm on fire but I don't know who to call
I don't know if I know anything at all
And these pictures of you keep on turning round
And this rain in my head keeps on falling, falling, falling, falling,
Falling down

Key to the World

Written By: Juliana Sparks

Wherever I go, something reminds me of a place I used to know
I’m coming home
Home to dream

Don’t you know I’ve got the key to the world
And I’m free to fly
And wave my flag unfurled

When everything comes apart
I’ve lost my heart’s embrace
I hold my breath
Until I see your face

Don’t you know I’ve got the key to the world
Now I’m free to fly
And wave my flag unfurled
I’ve got the key to the world

All my tilted windmills
Crashed without a sound
And I’m finally touching down

I’ve got the key to the world
I can take my time
And be my only girl

Now I’ve got the key to the world
In the shifting sand
I finally found my pearl --

I’ve got the key to the world
I’ve got the key to the world
I’ve got the key to the world

In Your Arms

Written By: Juliana Sparks

I can’t see where you’re standing
I can’t tell where the lines are drawn
This is not the way I planned it
But I blithely soldier on
And I trip on my tongue
Trying to master the sound

And I want to kiss you
And tell you I missed you
I want to lay down
Asleep in your arms
In your arms

There isn’t enough to fill the space
To cut me up, to fall from grace
When it’s such a long walk
And I want to drive away
And your words are like walls
And I scale them and fall
If it’s cold in the dark
When you harden your heart
If you think me unkind
Then I’ll try to
stop talking……..

Cause I want to kiss you
And tell you I missed you
I want to lay down
Asleep in your arms
In your arms
In your arms
In your arms

Cool Ride

Written By: Julie Sparks

Cool Ride

There’s a calm in the flight of the solitary traveler who has never been
You can document the height, as you ripple through the darkness
Ever moving silent upward and ahead
Detail memorized by fingertip
The brush of unfamiliar lips
The tumble of an unmade bed
Framed in candlelight, a long and sleepless night
Would you like to fall in love?

Take me for a cool ride
Take me anywhere you like
Anywhere you want to go, I’ll go, I’ll go
For a cool ride

If you gauge our velocity, in passionate philosophy
We’re too close to the sun
My wings are twine and sealing wax, my struts aren’t strong enough to tax
My tender heart will come undone
Locate me in your atmosphere, and float me far away from here
Would you like to fall in love?

CHORUS

Speak to me by telegraph, in algebra or simple math
Triangulate the hemispheres, calculate the universe that brought me here
Paint me a picture of the world you see
No matter how you map it
It all makes sense to me

I’m all circuitry, and I’m wired into something I cannot explain
Even though it hurts, my intuition tells me
That I can’t get off this train
Don’t leave me here alone tonight
Please swear to God you’ll hold me tight
Would you like to fall in love?

CHORUS

Good to Me

Written By: Juliana Sparks

I wish for simple with all of my heart
God send me somebody but don’t make him too smart
Don’t need a lawyer, a doctor will do
To mend all my broken bones when I’m feelin’ blue
I like conversation when there’s something to say
But I’d hate to listen to clever all day

So wire me Western Union (telegraph me home)
God send me my paint by number (no fail guarantee)
If I colour in the lines
Won’t you promise to be good to me
Promise to be good

Please let him be thankful hardworking and true
Cause you know and I know there is laundry to do
Slow Sunday mornings to lay down my head
And read me the paper with breakfast in bed
I just need a man who’ll be on my side
I just need a man who is satisfied

So wire me Western Union (telegraph me home)
God send me my paint by number (no fail guarantee)
If I colour in the lines
Won’t you promise to be good to me
Promise to be good

He’ll be willin’ and content to be
You know the only girl he’ll ever want is me
He’ll be willin’ just like the good book says
There’s truth in the love that doesn’t pretend

So give me a holler and tell me his name
I’m ready and willin’ believe me I’m game
And just let me add a special thank you or two
I swear that I’ll name all my kids after you , so

So wire me Western Union (telegraph me home)
God send me my paint by number (no fail guarantee)
If I colour in the lines
Won’t you promise to be
Good to me
Promise to be good to me
Promise to be good
Promise

Discography

In Present Tense - 1999 - Independent
Simon Says - EP - 2003 - Independent
Juliana - 2007 - Independent

Set List

Good to Me
As the Wind Blows
In Your Arms
Rain
Being Human
Lost to You
Lately
Cross Your Fingers
Rocking Horse
I Bless You
Key to the World

Opening act - set length 30 min
Concert set - 45-50 min