Julia Weldon
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Julia Weldon

Brooklyn, New York, United States | SELF

Brooklyn, New York, United States | SELF
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"Album Review: ‘Light Is a Ghost'"

‘Light Is a Ghost'

Julia Weldon (self-released)

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Singer/songwriter — and outspoken gay rights activist — Julia Weldon is closing in on a master's degree in music from Columbia University, yet found time to write and record a dozen songs that became sophomore full-length “Light Is a Ghost.” Not bad for someone who balances music with college and a day job. The 12-track releases straddles the line between indie rock, pop and folk and shows Weldon to be an accomplished songwriter and performer. The opening tandem of “Meadow” and “Went to My Woman” set the tone, and she also delivers on “Careful in the Dark,” “All I Gave Her,” “Marian,” “Miles” and “Same Games.” Weldon's star is on the rise.
- McKeesport Daily News


"CD review: Julia Weldon – "Light is a Ghost""

An almost perfect record. Released in August, Julia Weldon's 12-track sophomore album, Light is a Ghost, produced by Saul MacWilliams (Ingrid Michaelson; Dan Romer) is a smooth and tightened presentation of her best work thus far. If this album doesn't propel Weldon to the mainstream, or meet some other ambiguous marker for what musicians call “success,” all the indie singer/songwriters in New York City should probably just give up.

Normally I contain my enthusiasm for records, because I've felt wronged by bands that churn out albums stuffed with filler after sending me a decent single. But this album, with some very pop, upbeat tracks like "Went to My Woman" and "Careful in the Dark," and softer folk songs with a slow rhythm guitar ("You Never Know" and "Icarus") you don't need to skip past any bullshit. 4.5 stars is an expression I wouldn't use, shouldn't use, as it's reserved for the Rolling Stone boys club, for the sort of person who measures the quality of a record with fractions and units. I'm not that sort of person, but 4.5 stars.

Not quite rock, not quite folk, and not quite country have, for now, become younger sub-genres, and pushing at the edges of those genres to find the boundaries between them, Weldon's album is adequately described on the one-sheet as “American.” The songwriting draws influence from American roots—country, blues, jazz, and folk—to develop the backbone of structured, verse-chorus songs. Painted over that are intensely personal lyrics and breathless moments of strain. Her spotless guitar work, solid voice, and accessible melodies are enhanced by the modern professional touch of MacWilliams in the studio and drums by Adam Christgau (Sia, Tegan and Sara).

Sometimes I picture Weldon as the cute urban cowgirl who stands outside a bar dragging on a cigarette when she is singing, sweet and hushed, “All the gin and all the beer won't make it better.” In person, Weldon is full of positive energy, often described as "adorable," high on the momentum; when I interviewed her years ago for VZ Magazine, said to me, “This is who I am, you know?” And I knew.

A good portion are love songs, the sort that embrace the pain, the highs, the mistakes and the complications. “Same Games," is one of the best on the album—a ballad that benefits from Christgau's drums, punctuating the beats in Weldon's smoky voice. I can picture this song as the soundtrack of a black and white indie film, the chorus rising at the final scene when two lovers walk away.

Weldon's voice is just gravelly enough, bluesy, sometimes country-affected, though she's from New Jersey and lives in Brooklyn. Beneath fractured emotions, there's an innate childlike purity in her voice, though not high-pitched. Sounds like: Elliott Smith, Sarah Bettens, or weeks of rain. She's rightly compared to Suzanne Vega—no vibrato, but sometimes a note will crack or strain, kind of like the scrape of a fingernail across a guitar string or letting go of a long-held sigh. It all comes together, both in “form and content” as Weldon once explained.

This album was recorded carefully, all effects, ambient sounds, keys and guitar overdubs placed just so. In ”You Never Know” a soft rhythm guitar is accompanied by a crackling, slapping sound, like an old cassette tape clicking to the B side. Percussive details prop up Weldon's songwriting in a way that makes it fresh and crisp.“Marian” is young again.

What Weldon has really done with this album is throw light on herself, and maybe the ghost is the younger Weldon who hides her face on her 2008 DIY-style self-titled debut record. Most of these songs go a long way back to those times spent on "Brooklyn rooftops," constructions of her past and all its shadows, songs like “Marian,” “Meadow” and “All I Gave Her,” the same chords she's played for years on stage, the same lyrics that made you think you might “get” her, now recorded with radio-friendly precision.

I saw Weldon perform solo with her acoustic steel string and a harmonica holder on her head at Rockwood in 2011, and I was relieved that the new studio version doesn't clean up the intimacy of her live act.

The album artwork underscores the theme on light (actualization, life, fame?) A slightly wet, slicked up Julia Weldon faces straight toward a professional camera, a bright light shining directly in her eyes. The magazine-quality photo is so unapologetic, she appears to be a bit sexier, mature, polished. I heard a comment about the new Julia when talking to a Brooklyn kid, who told me, without irony, “Her photos are too cool now.” Yes, and that's exactly the point, I think.

“I want to write like Bobby Dylan and go to jail like Johnny Cash,” she sings in her grittiest voice in "Round Again," a fairly standard country tune that brings her adept guitar to the center.

I - No Depression


"Julia Weldon - Light Is a Ghost"

New York songstress Julia Weldon joins forces with Tegan & Sara drummer Adam Christgau for her playful inde-rock meets introspective folk-pop sophomore, which moves from sparse ideas into upbeat Americana with some twang. It’s soulful, charming, and Weldon’s voice is soft and soothing as her forthright songs are imbued with a sort of intimate timelessness akin to Elliott Smith or Cat Power. Amazingly thoughtful and lovely, why is this woman not a household name? - Inforty


"Julia Weldon - Light Is a Ghost"

New York songstress Julia Weldon joins forces with Tegan & Sara drummer Adam Christgau for her playful inde-rock meets introspective folk-pop sophomore, which moves from sparse ideas into upbeat Americana with some twang. It’s soulful, charming, and Weldon’s voice is soft and soothing as her forthright songs are imbued with a sort of intimate timelessness akin to Elliott Smith or Cat Power. Amazingly thoughtful and lovely, why is this woman not a household name? - Inforty


"Julia Weldon: July 19, 2013 Knitting Factory – Flac/MP3/Streaming"

The physical copies of Julia Weldon’s new CD Light is a Ghost arrived in her manager/brother’s office on the afternoon of her CD release show last Friday. This serendipitous bit of fortune carried over into the celebratory feeling of her show at the Knitting Factory that night and also allowed us to snag a copy for multiple plays over the weekend. The CD is really everything we could have hoped for from this tremendous artist. The material is well-paced and highlights her many talents — strong voice, deep sense of melody, insightful lyrics and a keen sense of humor. Whether its this CD or her next, Julia Weldon is an artist destined for big things, and we are fortunate to be able to hitch onto her ride early on. The show at the Knit was also a family affair. Besides her brother (and manager), both of Julia’s parents (thanks on the CD) were there for support. In her bio, Julia notes that she came out at 12, and while we’re not privy (nor should we be) to the details of her parent’s reaction, its safe these days to assume that they are completely supportive. This is perhaps why her music is almost “post-gay”, that is to say that her songs don’t focus or even really touch on the struggle with phobias and acceptance. The lyrics treat her sexuality unselfconsciously and as a matter-of-fact — and that’s both empowering and refreshing. At the Knit, Julia and her band worked through the complete album, with a bonus song as encore. We are streaming “Icarus”, which was perhaps the most fully realized performance on a night when each number shined throughout.

Julia Weldon is touring for a half dozen dates in the South and Midwest before returning to NYC in September.

I recorded this set with the Sennheiser cards mixed with an excellent board feed from house soundman Rob, and the sound is excellent. Enjoy! - NYC Taper - New York's live music archivist


"Julia Weldon: July 19, 2013 Knitting Factory – Flac/MP3/Streaming"

The physical copies of Julia Weldon’s new CD Light is a Ghost arrived in her manager/brother’s office on the afternoon of her CD release show last Friday. This serendipitous bit of fortune carried over into the celebratory feeling of her show at the Knitting Factory that night and also allowed us to snag a copy for multiple plays over the weekend. The CD is really everything we could have hoped for from this tremendous artist. The material is well-paced and highlights her many talents — strong voice, deep sense of melody, insightful lyrics and a keen sense of humor. Whether its this CD or her next, Julia Weldon is an artist destined for big things, and we are fortunate to be able to hitch onto her ride early on. The show at the Knit was also a family affair. Besides her brother (and manager), both of Julia’s parents (thanks on the CD) were there for support. In her bio, Julia notes that she came out at 12, and while we’re not privy (nor should we be) to the details of her parent’s reaction, its safe these days to assume that they are completely supportive. This is perhaps why her music is almost “post-gay”, that is to say that her songs don’t focus or even really touch on the struggle with phobias and acceptance. The lyrics treat her sexuality unselfconsciously and as a matter-of-fact — and that’s both empowering and refreshing. At the Knit, Julia and her band worked through the complete album, with a bonus song as encore. We are streaming “Icarus”, which was perhaps the most fully realized performance on a night when each number shined throughout.

Julia Weldon is touring for a half dozen dates in the South and Midwest before returning to NYC in September.

I recorded this set with the Sennheiser cards mixed with an excellent board feed from house soundman Rob, and the sound is excellent. Enjoy! - NYC Taper - New York's live music archivist


"Julia Weldon: May 29, 2013 Rock Shop – Flac/MP3/Streaming"

We receive hundreds of sample tracks every month, and I try to listen to all of them. Every once in a while there is an artist whose talent jumps out at me immediately. This was the case with Julia Weldon, whose recorded music is so impressive that we took a mid-week trip all the way out to Rock Shop just to be able to catch her live. There’s a great moment on this recording where a guy who wandered into the back room of Rock Shop mid-set spontaneously can be heard to say “she’s great” near the end of “Marian” streaming below. Julia is that kind of performer — whose talent is so obvious that a perfect stranger, likely in the venue to see another act, is compelled blurt out a superlative to no one in particular. Her set included some older numbers, but concentrated on her soon to be released new album, Light Is A Ghost. We are confident that with the new material and a consistent performing schedule, Julia will soon be playing in larger venues to much larger crowds, and eventually touring behind a prominent indie-label release. Such things are pretty easy to predict.

Julia Weldon will be playing at Knitting Factory on July 19, in a release show for a her new CD.

We recorded this set with the large diaphragm Neumann TLM-102 cards, which seemed to work well in this small room. Other than some non-optimal aspects of the mix, we’re pleased with the result. Enjoy! - NYC Taper - New York's live music archivist


"Up & Coming: Julia Weldon"

Up and Coming is our new bi-monthly column spotlighting Brooklyn based musicians.

Name: Julia Weldon
Born In: Brooklyn
Music Genre: Indie pop rock
New Album/Single: Light Is a Ghost, “Meadow”

With an upcoming album release and a string of tour dates on the way, Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter Julia Weldon recently chatted with me about the recording of her new album, a formative road trip she took after college and her love of Elliot Smith and drinking wine outside during the summer in Brooklyn.

Your new album Light Is a Ghost is set to release this August. Can you tell us a bit about how the album came together and who was involved in its recording?

I did a really intimate, gritty, self-titled album in 2008. My friends told me that I really should put out the songs that I’d written. And people still tell me that they really love it and how raw it is. It was completely unproduced. With the new album I wanted something that people could buy and feel that it’s a full package of Julia Weldon with full instrumentation. I worked with a really amazing producer, Saul, who works with Ingrid Michaelson. A bunch of amazing artists were brought in, including the drummer, Adam, who is now touring with Tegan and Sara and who used to tour with Sia. We went up to a cabin in Maine and tracked the drums, then spent the year back in Brooklyn, where we recorded almost every weekend for a year. We wanted to make this album really versatile. It goes from Americana to folk to indie pop rock. It has drums, bass, synth, viola and alternative ambient noises. The single is very indie rock.

How did you get started as a musician? How did you learn to play guitar?

I’m completely self-taught. I just picked up a guitar when I was 12. I’ve always been musical and there have always been songs that I wanted to express and I finally found the right instrument. I think my parents gave me lessons for a month and I just had no real desire to continue, so I just started experimenting on my own by teaching myself and then songwriting came almost immediately after I learned chords.

Is there one album in particular that you listened to growing up that had a major impact on you as a musician?

Elliot Smith during high school was a huge influence. The first album that comes to mind is Either/Or.

I understand you took a road trip that was pretty influential to your music. Could you tell me a bit about that?

I took this formative road trip in 2006. I wasn’t really considering a career in music back then. I had this intense, amazing trip with my best friend from college, where we just camped out and were under the stars. We went to a bluegrass festival in Telluride. We went to AAA and got an itinerary and just did nothing that they told us to do [laughs]. We just drove. We went all the way across to San Francisco and then back to Brooklyn in two and a half weeks.

What have your past six months been like?

The last six months have been crazy [laughs]. Even after finishing the album, things have just blown up in a really good way. I’ve found myself more focused on my career than ever before. I’ve really been not getting into that little self-doubt devil on my shoulder that we all have that says, “yeah, you’re doing pretty good, but you can probably just chill out now and calm down,” that kind of self-sabotage, you know? For a long time I got wrapped up in a lot of personal drama, which was my way of avoiding my career and taking myself seriously. In the past six months, I finished the album and decided to screw doing a Kickstarter. I decided to raise the money on my own by booking a shit ton of college shows. The album sounds beautiful and I could not be happier with it - it sounds so professionally done and ready to get out there in the world.

What do you have planned for the next six months?

The next six months are definitely about finally making a couple of music videos. I’m so excited about it. I’m working on a video for “Meadow,” the single, and for a couple of other songs such as “Careful in the Dark.” Then I’m touring and the album releases in August.

Do you have a favorite Brooklyn music venue?

Right when I started to take myself more seriously as a professional songwriter I played at the Knitting Factory a couple of times. Those were a few of my most formative live shows. It’s a pretty special little place.

What is one of your favorite things to do in Brooklyn during the summer?

I really like drinking wine outside during the summer. Or margaritas. I think that I think to myself that I’m having a little picnic and drinking wine. But sitting outside at a bar having a margarita is probably more accurate. I also used to walk across the Williamsburg Bridge to clear my head. A lot of Prospect Park biking and hanging out will probably happen this summer. And rooftop hangouts!

You have a show at the Rock Shop on May 29th. What is that show going to be like?

I’m really excited to be playing mo - Brooklyn Exposed


"Up & Coming: Julia Weldon"

Up and Coming is our new bi-monthly column spotlighting Brooklyn based musicians.

Name: Julia Weldon
Born In: Brooklyn
Music Genre: Indie pop rock
New Album/Single: Light Is a Ghost, “Meadow”

With an upcoming album release and a string of tour dates on the way, Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter Julia Weldon recently chatted with me about the recording of her new album, a formative road trip she took after college and her love of Elliot Smith and drinking wine outside during the summer in Brooklyn.

Your new album Light Is a Ghost is set to release this August. Can you tell us a bit about how the album came together and who was involved in its recording?

I did a really intimate, gritty, self-titled album in 2008. My friends told me that I really should put out the songs that I’d written. And people still tell me that they really love it and how raw it is. It was completely unproduced. With the new album I wanted something that people could buy and feel that it’s a full package of Julia Weldon with full instrumentation. I worked with a really amazing producer, Saul, who works with Ingrid Michaelson. A bunch of amazing artists were brought in, including the drummer, Adam, who is now touring with Tegan and Sara and who used to tour with Sia. We went up to a cabin in Maine and tracked the drums, then spent the year back in Brooklyn, where we recorded almost every weekend for a year. We wanted to make this album really versatile. It goes from Americana to folk to indie pop rock. It has drums, bass, synth, viola and alternative ambient noises. The single is very indie rock.

How did you get started as a musician? How did you learn to play guitar?

I’m completely self-taught. I just picked up a guitar when I was 12. I’ve always been musical and there have always been songs that I wanted to express and I finally found the right instrument. I think my parents gave me lessons for a month and I just had no real desire to continue, so I just started experimenting on my own by teaching myself and then songwriting came almost immediately after I learned chords.

Is there one album in particular that you listened to growing up that had a major impact on you as a musician?

Elliot Smith during high school was a huge influence. The first album that comes to mind is Either/Or.

I understand you took a road trip that was pretty influential to your music. Could you tell me a bit about that?

I took this formative road trip in 2006. I wasn’t really considering a career in music back then. I had this intense, amazing trip with my best friend from college, where we just camped out and were under the stars. We went to a bluegrass festival in Telluride. We went to AAA and got an itinerary and just did nothing that they told us to do [laughs]. We just drove. We went all the way across to San Francisco and then back to Brooklyn in two and a half weeks.

What have your past six months been like?

The last six months have been crazy [laughs]. Even after finishing the album, things have just blown up in a really good way. I’ve found myself more focused on my career than ever before. I’ve really been not getting into that little self-doubt devil on my shoulder that we all have that says, “yeah, you’re doing pretty good, but you can probably just chill out now and calm down,” that kind of self-sabotage, you know? For a long time I got wrapped up in a lot of personal drama, which was my way of avoiding my career and taking myself seriously. In the past six months, I finished the album and decided to screw doing a Kickstarter. I decided to raise the money on my own by booking a shit ton of college shows. The album sounds beautiful and I could not be happier with it - it sounds so professionally done and ready to get out there in the world.

What do you have planned for the next six months?

The next six months are definitely about finally making a couple of music videos. I’m so excited about it. I’m working on a video for “Meadow,” the single, and for a couple of other songs such as “Careful in the Dark.” Then I’m touring and the album releases in August.

Do you have a favorite Brooklyn music venue?

Right when I started to take myself more seriously as a professional songwriter I played at the Knitting Factory a couple of times. Those were a few of my most formative live shows. It’s a pretty special little place.

What is one of your favorite things to do in Brooklyn during the summer?

I really like drinking wine outside during the summer. Or margaritas. I think that I think to myself that I’m having a little picnic and drinking wine. But sitting outside at a bar having a margarita is probably more accurate. I also used to walk across the Williamsburg Bridge to clear my head. A lot of Prospect Park biking and hanging out will probably happen this summer. And rooftop hangouts!

You have a show at the Rock Shop on May 29th. What is that show going to be like?

I’m really excited to be playing mo - Brooklyn Exposed


"Julia Weldon: Festival Memories"

Julia WeldonBrooklyn based indie-folk-pop artist Julia Weldon has been giving acclaimed heartfelt performances at Knitting Factory, Webster Hall, CMJ and BoulderFest. Her upcoming album release ‘Light is a Ghost’ is a fully orchestrated manifestation of her talent.

In this podcast Julia talks about starting out as a musician, simultaneously going to graduate school and performing, and some of her favorite festival memories. - KadmusArts Podcast


"GHOST girl: A lesbian musician makes her debut, again."

GHOST girl: A lesbian musician makes her debut, again.
By Dave Steinfeld

Singer-songwriter Julia Weldon, who released a
self-titled EP back in 2008, is now gearing up for
the release of her first full-length offering, Light Is
a Ghost. The album finds the New Jersey native
sticking to the intimate folk stylings of her debut but
with a subtly fuller sound. Weldon credits producer
Saul MacWilliams with helping her find that sound.
“To set the tone for the album, we went up to a cabin
in Maine,” she says. They recorded the drums for the
album with Tegan & Sara’s current drummer, Adam
Christgau. “He did an amazing job. He came up, we
did drums and swam in the pond every day!”
The openly queer Weldon has never allowed her
sexuality to be a barrier to her career. “I play a lot
of college shows for queer groups and I do a lot of
hands-on queer activism in that setting,” she says,
“but outside of that, it’s like a catch-22, you know?
My sexual orientation is super-important but my
whole politics is about normalizing it. Does [my
orientation] really matter if it’s a good song? When
the frat boys come to the show, they almost don’t
think about the fact that I’m gay because they
identify strongly with my song.”
Some of the highlights of Light Is a Ghost include
the opening track, “Meadow,” and the haunting yet
catchy “Careful in the Dark.” Weldon explains the
inspiration for the latter song. “I wrote it in 2009
right after I had gotten back from a trip and met
someone in Israel. I was actually coming out of a
really bad relationship and I was kind of dating two
other people. And it’s about feeling drawn towards
the comfort of being with someone else. But I also
have this masochistic tendency to kind of ruin
relationships,” she admits with a laugh. “I’m a really
restless person. That’s why I write; it helps me feel
grounded and figure out what the fuck I’m doing.
So the song is basically about the ambivalence of
relationships.”
Before turning to music, Weldon was a successful
child actor. “I was in a big film called Before and After
when I first started acting. I played Meryl Streep and
Liam Neeson’s daughter. The acting informs a ton of
my songwriting, storytelling and stage performance.”
Light Is a Ghost will be released Aug. 20. For those
in the New York area, catch her CD release show date
on July 19 at The Knitting Factory.
(juliaweldon.com)
- CURVE Magazine


"GHOST girl: A lesbian musician makes her debut, again."

GHOST girl: A lesbian musician makes her debut, again.
By Dave Steinfeld

Singer-songwriter Julia Weldon, who released a
self-titled EP back in 2008, is now gearing up for
the release of her first full-length offering, Light Is
a Ghost. The album finds the New Jersey native
sticking to the intimate folk stylings of her debut but
with a subtly fuller sound. Weldon credits producer
Saul MacWilliams with helping her find that sound.
“To set the tone for the album, we went up to a cabin
in Maine,” she says. They recorded the drums for the
album with Tegan & Sara’s current drummer, Adam
Christgau. “He did an amazing job. He came up, we
did drums and swam in the pond every day!”
The openly queer Weldon has never allowed her
sexuality to be a barrier to her career. “I play a lot
of college shows for queer groups and I do a lot of
hands-on queer activism in that setting,” she says,
“but outside of that, it’s like a catch-22, you know?
My sexual orientation is super-important but my
whole politics is about normalizing it. Does [my
orientation] really matter if it’s a good song? When
the frat boys come to the show, they almost don’t
think about the fact that I’m gay because they
identify strongly with my song.”
Some of the highlights of Light Is a Ghost include
the opening track, “Meadow,” and the haunting yet
catchy “Careful in the Dark.” Weldon explains the
inspiration for the latter song. “I wrote it in 2009
right after I had gotten back from a trip and met
someone in Israel. I was actually coming out of a
really bad relationship and I was kind of dating two
other people. And it’s about feeling drawn towards
the comfort of being with someone else. But I also
have this masochistic tendency to kind of ruin
relationships,” she admits with a laugh. “I’m a really
restless person. That’s why I write; it helps me feel
grounded and figure out what the fuck I’m doing.
So the song is basically about the ambivalence of
relationships.”
Before turning to music, Weldon was a successful
child actor. “I was in a big film called Before and After
when I first started acting. I played Meryl Streep and
Liam Neeson’s daughter. The acting informs a ton of
my songwriting, storytelling and stage performance.”
Light Is a Ghost will be released Aug. 20. For those
in the New York area, catch her CD release show date
on July 19 at The Knitting Factory.
(juliaweldon.com)
- CURVE Magazine


"Brooklyn Indie Folk-Pop Darling Julia Weldon Debuts Her Sophomore Album 'Light Is A Ghost' Start-to-Finish Live at The Knitting Factory on Friday, July 19"

Light Is A Ghost; the follow up to Julia Weldon's 2008 self-titled debut, is produced by Saul MacWilliams (Ingrid Michaelson, Dan Romer) and features Adam Christgau (Sia, Tegan and Sara) on drums.

Defined by its brash honesty, Light Is A Ghost is an American album in the truest sense, capturing the feel of the open road on a late summer evening and making room for the remnants of past relationships that creep into the serenity. Amidst the harsh city edges and limitless, open spaces, Weldon’s lyrics depict love as a battlefield littered with casualties – loss, regret, resentment, and debauchery. Weldon's confident guitar playing and Christgau’s propulsive drumming set Light Is A Ghost apart.

Weldon's own version of twang offers many pop inflections in the way she hangs her vocal stylings around a chorus or in the quirky, daring arrangements offered on the twelve track collection. This original hybrid of indie folk is best heard on songs like “Careful in the Dark” “Meadow,” and “You Never Know.” Light Is A Ghost draws on everything from contemporary indie folk to classic blues rock, dialoguing with contemporary artists like Bon Iver, Iron and Wine, and Cat Power as well as legends like Bob Dylan, Elliott Smith and Suzanne Vega. MacWilliams’ production is deft with acute attention to details, a tasteful complement to Weldon's tales.

Light Is A Ghost drops at the Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Ave., Brooklyn, NY) on July 19 at 9:00 PM. Tickets are $10. - Americana Daily


"From Evening Hymns to Rosanne Cash: musicians’ stories, songs and photos for Father’s Day"

"From a young age, my dad played a huge role in my development as a performer and artist. I remember waking up on Saturdays to my father singing throughout the house. He still sings now and it helps him cope with Parkinson's disease. The last verse of my song 'Went to My Woman' says it best with these lyrics." - CBC News - Canada


"From Evening Hymns to Rosanne Cash: musicians’ stories, songs and photos for Father’s Day"

"From a young age, my dad played a huge role in my development as a performer and artist. I remember waking up on Saturdays to my father singing throughout the house. He still sings now and it helps him cope with Parkinson's disease. The last verse of my song 'Went to My Woman' says it best with these lyrics." - CBC News - Canada


"Lesbian listening party"

There's nothing remotely resembling the sophomore slump on lesbian singer/songwriter Julia Weldon's awesome second disc, Light Is a Ghost (juliaweldon.com). An exceptional songwriter and musician, Weldon offers new hope for the next generation of queer female performers, writing with a maturity that belies her youth. It's hard not be effusive after listening (repeatedly) to songs such as "Meadow," "Went to My Woman," "Careful in the Dark," "You Never Know" and "Soon." Weldon, who doesn't shy away from queer subject matter in her songs (the amazing "All I Gave Her" and "All the Birds"), is an artist with whom you will want to become well-acquainted, the sooner the better. - The Bay Area Reporter


"Julia Weldon at Capital Pride"

WASHINGTON, July 10, 2013 —Singer-songwriter Julia Weldon doesn’t normally play with a band. But during the recent weekend festival for Capital Pride – along with several other pride festivals across the East Coast – she brought along the guys to back up her set.

For an artist like Weldon, it seems a bit odd to have a full band backing songs that were created primarily for a solo performer. Such songs can feel a bit cumbersome in a larger format when their original intention is have a spare and more personal appeal. But this is never the case with Weldon, as she leaves a lot of hooks in the framework of her songs that can be filled out if necessary.

Over the last several weeks, Gay Pride festivals have been occurring all over the country. With the Supreme Court seemingly coming down on the side of the gay community on this issue, each of these festivals has taken on an even more significance, bringing out supporters of all persuasions.

The Pride festivals aren’t just about a person’s sexuality. They’re more about the right to be open and honest about who an individual is, which includes one’s own sexuality.

That’s what made Julia Weldon the perfect artist to be performing at Capital Pride. One of the primary keys to being a good and successful singer/songwriter is the ability to be honest. Stories, emotional arcs, none of this means a thing if it’s clear the artist is just putting on airs for a given occasion, playing something because it might create an cynically predetermined effect on the audience.

None of this ever feels like a problem for Julia Weldon. Her songs have a natural authenticity as she weaves simple, emotional, but universally accessible stories. It’s easy to get caught up in the set due to the way Weldon throws herself into each individual performance. Her personal, heartfelt emotional touch—never forced—is what makes her set engrossing. - The Washington Times


" Julia Weldon celebrates 'Light is a Ghost' CD release at The Knit on 07.19"

Julia Weldon celebrates 'Light is a Ghost' CD release at The Knit

On her new record 'Light is a Ghost,' singer-songwriter Julia Weldon acts as the beating heart behind every good dream that's worth preserving after the alarm clock goes off. From her tenacious energy in the acoustic vamp 'All I Gave Her' to her heart-on-sleeve cover of 'Somewhere over the Rainbow,' Julia plays loud, intensely, and almost entirely on her acoustic steel string alone. That takes a certain chutzpah for sure... but somehow she gets you every time. That's what the best dreams seem to be able to do.

See her when she plays Knitting Factory on July 19th for her 'Light is a Ghost' album release party. - Mike Levine (@Goldnuggets) - The DELI Magazine


" Julia Weldon celebrates 'Light is a Ghost' CD release at The Knit on 07.19"

Julia Weldon celebrates 'Light is a Ghost' CD release at The Knit

On her new record 'Light is a Ghost,' singer-songwriter Julia Weldon acts as the beating heart behind every good dream that's worth preserving after the alarm clock goes off. From her tenacious energy in the acoustic vamp 'All I Gave Her' to her heart-on-sleeve cover of 'Somewhere over the Rainbow,' Julia plays loud, intensely, and almost entirely on her acoustic steel string alone. That takes a certain chutzpah for sure... but somehow she gets you every time. That's what the best dreams seem to be able to do.

See her when she plays Knitting Factory on July 19th for her 'Light is a Ghost' album release party. - Mike Levine (@Goldnuggets) - The DELI Magazine


"Interview with singer Julia Weldon, Androgynous and Empowered"

Simple, raw, honest. Singer/songwriter Julia Weldon offers a straightforward course to her emotions with lone voice and simple acoustic guitar inflections.

“This is what it's all about,” Weldon says as she breaks down what being a performer is for 429Magazine.

“Getting up on stage and pouring your guts out, ripping your heart off your sleeve and holding it out in front of an audience, coming close to tears while singing a song, reliving painful experiences, having the courage to play new songs, and essentially sharing your most intimate secrets with people you often don't know at all.”

She says this on-stage transformation of vulnerability into art delivers an immense catharsis that is converted into “immense strength and empowerment…for [her] and the audience.”

Derivative and inspired by Eliot Smith, Bob Dylan, Bon Iver, Ani DiFranco, and Cat Power, Weldon expressed that others have told her (and she believes) that she “transcends several boxes with [her] music, songs, performance, and stage presence.”

Self-taught from 12 years old, she wrote songs in high school, but was unable to focus on music as she was a professional child actor in TV and film, even playing alongside Meryl Streep in the film “Before and After.”

Stemming from a sheer need to express herself, Weldon revealed that she was always very “creatively effusive and expressive,” and thus when she picked up the guitar, the ideas flowed. She considers also that the melodies may have always been there; and now, paired with an instrument, she is able to bring them into fruition.

Songwriting took over in college and her mid-20s, as close friends and family encouraged her to play more seriously at shows in NYC.

Now, inspired by nature, the city, paradoxes, relationships, love, lust, sadness, fear, the world right around her, and family, she feels that she has discovered her “creative calling.”

“There's no real choice which is sometimes hard because it takes so much dedication and vulnerability,” Weldon said. “But it's what I was meant to do and I can feel that.”

Despite the struggle and determination required in order to be a musician, she made it clear that it is very rewarding.

“Right now, momentum is feeling bigger and bigger with my upcoming album ‘Light Is A Ghost,’” Weldon said.

Scheduled for release this summer, “Light Is A Ghost,” is a comprehensive 12-track album Weldon crafted with producer Saul Simon MacWilliam over a two-year span.

“Treating every song as its own separate world while also creating a cohesive sound for the whole album,” Weldon said MacWilliam took her songs and “spun them into indie-folk-pop gold.”

“This is not a singer-songwriter album, it is a versatile and fully orchestrated representation of my songs. The tracks range from quite subtle production with vocals and guitar to dancey pop-rock with drums, bass, electric, synth, viola, keys, etc.”

With the completion of the album as one of the highlights of her career, Weldon also disclosed that she might be playing at Capital Pride this June.

As an “extremely androgynous” woman in the industry, she described that she approaches the world as a person and less as a woman; which people sense and respond to.

It’s a matter of confidence. While she clarified that women in the field can be self-assured, her approach is with the assertion that she should be respected as “a person—as a musician first and foremost…before they see [her] as male or female.”

Despite her buoyant attitude, she shared that she has encountered certain biases, boxes, and stereotypes, but usually her music speaks for her.

“I find luckily that once anyone hears me play, they realize I don't like being boxed in. Again, I feel fortunate that my music does that work for me.”

In regards to sexuality, Weldon is empowered by “feeling and looking sexy as an artist” if she is in control of her image and “sexualization” in the media.

She explained that she luckily has not encountered a requirement to exploit her sexuality, but has felt subtle pressures. However, taking charge of her semblance allows her to be comfortable.

“I can have my private life but my public persona…I don’t mind being sexy in that realm.”

For aspiring artists, she stated, “Don't underestimate your worth and ability to do it. Be real with yourself and down to earth with others, and keep pushing for what you want.”

Currently on tour while completing her Masters in Music from Columbia University, Weldon is eager to quit her job (which is paying for her degree), and see where her music takes her. - DOT 429 Magazine


"The Hot Sheet for July 19th"

5. MUSIC: Julia Weldon, Light Is A Ghost
New York-based singer-songwriter Julia Weldon might be the most soulful singer you've never heard of. The 30-year-old New Jersey native has been making East Coast audiences swoon for more than a decade with her heartfelt lyrics, and aching, tender voice. Weldon's sophomore album, Light Is a Ghost, debuts Friday with a release party at Brooklyn's legendary Knitting Factory. Light Is a Ghost reveals a tender, multitalented out artist with impressive depth as she's backed up on 12 tracks by a full band. The album's digital release is scheduled for August 20, according to Weldon's website. - The Advocate Magazine


"EXCLUSIVE: The Wonderful World of Julia Weldon"

New York-based singer-songwriter Julia Weldon might be the most soulful singer you've never heard of. The 30-year-old New Jersey native has been making East Coast audiences swoon for more than a decade with her heartfelt lyrics, and aching, tender voice. Weldon's forthcoming sophomore album, Light Is a Ghost, will debut later this summer, showcasing the out artist's depth with 12 tracks supported by a full band.

Don't miss your chance to meet Weldon in person, when she performs with her band — The Straits — at Washington, D.C. Pride on Saturday, and at New York City's The Bowery Electric Monday night. Find a full list of upcoming shows here.

SheWired caught up with Weldon before she embarked on a whirlwind spring tour, to talk about identity, history, and what it's like to be an out, genderqueer singer-songwriter in today's ever-changing musical landscape.

When did you start playing music? Did you grow up in a musical family, or was this something you discovered on your own?

I think I've always had melodies and musical ideas in my head, but I sang a bit as a kid and played trumpet a ton in middle school. My dad has always been a singer and has a beautiful voice. From a young age, I remember him singing to me, or just around the house — usually either to put me to sleep with a lullaby or to wake me and my brother up on a Saturday morning. [Laughs] My parents listened to a lot of Dylan, Traveling Wilburys, Joan Baez, classical, and Paul Simon in the car.

I discovered guitar and songwriting on my own though, yes. I picked up my parents' crappy garage-sale guitar from the '70s when I was around 12 years old, and was instantly drawn to it and wanted desperately to learn how to play better. I'm almost exclusively self-taught on the guitar, and started writing songs sort of out of adolescent angst-necessity when I was around 15. But I think the guitar was just the perfect outlet — I was waiting for to help get the songs in my head out into the world.

How do you identify in terms of sexual orientation and gender identity?

I've been gay for so long I feel straight, if that makes any sense! [Laughs] I came out when I was very young, at age 13, and definitely knew subconsciously even before that. Now I definitely identity with the term "queer" more than lesbian or gay. I think that's just a matter of preference and slightly political. In terms of gender identity, I feel proud to be a genderqueer and androgynous person in the world and in my music image. I think as opposed to being gender-neutral, I have extremes of both femininity and masculinity.

Have you run into any issues or pushback for being an out musician?

I haven't, luckily, run into any issues thus far for being out. I think that people respond to honesty about such things, but also I think that when someone is dedicated to producing honest and good quality music or art, other aspects of that person — such as sexual orientation or other private matters — become less important. It's not that they aren't important components of one's identity, because they are, but I always hope that my music and performance eclipse my sexual orientation.

All this said, being a queer role model is super-important for me, and I play for national organizations such as [the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network] and for queer college groups all over the country. But I think my queer activism is based in a politics of normalizing queerness, performing comfortably on stage and not explicitly discussing my gayness — just making it more about the music.

Are you worried about being pigeonholed as a queer artist?

I think all musicians have to fight that to some extent, and I am definitely interested in transcending boxes of sexuality, as well as the box that exists for songwriters. But I'm simultaneously so happy to be an out and proud musician who refuses to hide who I am for even a second. I can't really picture it any other way.

What would you say to queer youth who hope to make a name for themselves as singer/songwriters?

I would say be honest and write about what you know and feel. Be exactly who you are because people will respond to the truth that you project into the world. You are beautiful and you have a voice to be heard.

More on next page...

Your songs are so raw and emotional – it’s easy to connect with your lyrics. Where do you find your inspiration?

Thank you, I'm glad that you hear/feel the raw emotions of my songs. I find my inspiration in very personal things. I grew up acting as a child, and I think that raw emotion I learned to tap into just never went away. We all have our facades and defenses, but if I'm upset or emotional or feeling intense about something, it feels most natural for me to sit down and express and emote through the guitar and whatever words come to me. I think my songs are all stories, and - SheWired


"Q&A: Julia Weldon – From Actress to Musician and Activist"

Pursuing a master’s degree in music and music education at Columbia University in New York, Julia Weldon is looking forward to being able to pack up and do “a grassroots kind of touring thing” in the near future . Internalized folkaphobia has nothing on this 29-year-old whose songwriting and music performances are fueled by her passion for activism.
Here, she shares her time for a Q&A with freelance writer, Kristen Horvath …

KH: Who is Julia Weldon?

JW: I would probably say that I am a super approachable, heart-on-my-sleeve kind of person and performer who uses music as an outlet and wants other people to experience that at the live shows, and I’m also a queer activist. The activist side of songwriting has become more important to me as I play at more colleges and talk to more students.

KH: You’ve been out since a young age – what was that like for you?

JW: Since I was 13, yeah. I came out so young but I actually dated boys – I mean I was boy crazy from fourth to eighth grade. I was involved in a lot of acting – I did this acting role where I played a bisexual character. Basically, I played this role where I was supposed to be in love with this girl and I ended up, I think, coming out really early and realizing.

I had always felt gay, I always had feelings for girls, but I think having the acting role where I played a bi character enabled me to come out even earlier. It basically put the reality literally in my body – it was like “Oh my god this is, this is me.” It was actually really painful but I was really lucky. I basically realized I had really great parents and I came out really young. They went through their own acceptance process that I was so young that I was almost unaware of [their process]. I was depressed for a month and didn’t know what to do; I didn’t know what I was experiencing, I was really young. My mom asked me what was going on and I ended up just coming out to my parents one night as bi.

KH: Do you think where you are from had any affect on your coming out when you did?

JW: It’s funny, I was born in Brooklyn and raised in New Jersey, so I was raised right outside of New York, like a half an hour. The irony is that it’s so close to the biggest city ever, most liberal diverse city ever, but being out was rare and queer issues were just largely an unspoken thing. I felt like I was one of three gay people in high school, people just weren’t out. I didn’t come out until junior year but it was totally fine. Close friends knew but it was a very homogenous student body. It was very white and straight and, you know, ‘everyone looks the same’ kind of thing.

KH: Do you have any advice for LGBT youth?

JW: I think the best thing I can say to young kids coming out is be strong and be who you are because people will respond to that. I did end up coming out in the school newspaper when I was a junior and apparently some people thought I was going to get so much shit for that, but no one said anything. I was lucky I had my little group of queers and artists and other singer/songwriters and music people and actor people and no one really … it was a really good school. People will mess with you less if you are honest because it shows strength. I definitely would say to always make sure you are safe, but coming out will only make you stronger.

Also, my whole political approach to queerness as a public person is to normalize it. When I’m on stage, I’m me and I want people to hear the music. My gayness and androgyny are important and integral to who I am but there are so many other aspects of myself that are important – that goes for all of us. Being queer or gay or trans or bi or genderqueer might be very important to who you are, but it doesn’t necessarily define you.

KH: You started playing piano and trumpet in grade school, and guitar in middle school – was this when you started writing too?

JW: I started writing songs from the moment I picked up the guitar, but I started writing full songs when I was about fifteen. In my freshman and sophomore year of high school I was writing songs and I have this little motto now that people ask me about my songwriting – I say ‘I started writing songs when I was fifteen, and I started writing good songs when I was in college.’ (laughs) I’ve gotten better since then too, but …

KH: What makes a song a good song?

JW: That’s a good question. For me, it was like my songs in high school were very good; but, the more I wrote, the more intensely involved I was with songwriting in college (because I wasn’t acting anymore) and it kind of took over. I think that it’s more about maturity and maturity of the songwriting that was going on. So it’s not that the ones in high school were bad per se, just a little less, you know, mature.

KH: What kind of artist would you describe yourself as?

JW: Funny question, I have ‘internalized folkaphobia’. I feel like I should patent that. I realized I definitely have an internalized folkaphob - GALA Magazine


"Q&A: Julia Weldon – From Actress to Musician and Activist"

Pursuing a master’s degree in music and music education at Columbia University in New York, Julia Weldon is looking forward to being able to pack up and do “a grassroots kind of touring thing” in the near future . Internalized folkaphobia has nothing on this 29-year-old whose songwriting and music performances are fueled by her passion for activism.
Here, she shares her time for a Q&A with freelance writer, Kristen Horvath …

KH: Who is Julia Weldon?

JW: I would probably say that I am a super approachable, heart-on-my-sleeve kind of person and performer who uses music as an outlet and wants other people to experience that at the live shows, and I’m also a queer activist. The activist side of songwriting has become more important to me as I play at more colleges and talk to more students.

KH: You’ve been out since a young age – what was that like for you?

JW: Since I was 13, yeah. I came out so young but I actually dated boys – I mean I was boy crazy from fourth to eighth grade. I was involved in a lot of acting – I did this acting role where I played a bisexual character. Basically, I played this role where I was supposed to be in love with this girl and I ended up, I think, coming out really early and realizing.

I had always felt gay, I always had feelings for girls, but I think having the acting role where I played a bi character enabled me to come out even earlier. It basically put the reality literally in my body – it was like “Oh my god this is, this is me.” It was actually really painful but I was really lucky. I basically realized I had really great parents and I came out really young. They went through their own acceptance process that I was so young that I was almost unaware of [their process]. I was depressed for a month and didn’t know what to do; I didn’t know what I was experiencing, I was really young. My mom asked me what was going on and I ended up just coming out to my parents one night as bi.

KH: Do you think where you are from had any affect on your coming out when you did?

JW: It’s funny, I was born in Brooklyn and raised in New Jersey, so I was raised right outside of New York, like a half an hour. The irony is that it’s so close to the biggest city ever, most liberal diverse city ever, but being out was rare and queer issues were just largely an unspoken thing. I felt like I was one of three gay people in high school, people just weren’t out. I didn’t come out until junior year but it was totally fine. Close friends knew but it was a very homogenous student body. It was very white and straight and, you know, ‘everyone looks the same’ kind of thing.

KH: Do you have any advice for LGBT youth?

JW: I think the best thing I can say to young kids coming out is be strong and be who you are because people will respond to that. I did end up coming out in the school newspaper when I was a junior and apparently some people thought I was going to get so much shit for that, but no one said anything. I was lucky I had my little group of queers and artists and other singer/songwriters and music people and actor people and no one really … it was a really good school. People will mess with you less if you are honest because it shows strength. I definitely would say to always make sure you are safe, but coming out will only make you stronger.

Also, my whole political approach to queerness as a public person is to normalize it. When I’m on stage, I’m me and I want people to hear the music. My gayness and androgyny are important and integral to who I am but there are so many other aspects of myself that are important – that goes for all of us. Being queer or gay or trans or bi or genderqueer might be very important to who you are, but it doesn’t necessarily define you.

KH: You started playing piano and trumpet in grade school, and guitar in middle school – was this when you started writing too?

JW: I started writing songs from the moment I picked up the guitar, but I started writing full songs when I was about fifteen. In my freshman and sophomore year of high school I was writing songs and I have this little motto now that people ask me about my songwriting – I say ‘I started writing songs when I was fifteen, and I started writing good songs when I was in college.’ (laughs) I’ve gotten better since then too, but …

KH: What makes a song a good song?

JW: That’s a good question. For me, it was like my songs in high school were very good; but, the more I wrote, the more intensely involved I was with songwriting in college (because I wasn’t acting anymore) and it kind of took over. I think that it’s more about maturity and maturity of the songwriting that was going on. So it’s not that the ones in high school were bad per se, just a little less, you know, mature.

KH: What kind of artist would you describe yourself as?

JW: Funny question, I have ‘internalized folkaphobia’. I feel like I should patent that. I realized I definitely have an internalized folkaphob - GALA Magazine


"Julia Weldon Graces our Stage"

August 25, 2008: From Host Jay Hammond: Well it was great to be back at Sound Fix after a long time away last night. There were a number of familiar faces, but some very talented new ones as well. Julia Weldon graced our stage for the first time. Check out her song Marian for a tragic/beautiful love ditty. - Jezebel Music


"Julia Weldon Graces our Stage"

August 25, 2008: From Host Jay Hammond: Well it was great to be back at Sound Fix after a long time away last night. There were a number of familiar faces, but some very talented new ones as well. Julia Weldon graced our stage for the first time. Check out her song Marian for a tragic/beautiful love ditty. - Jezebel Music


"A Ludlow Street Interview with Julia Weldon"

Julia Weldon walks out of Rockwood Music Hall with her heart on her sleeve and a guitar on her back. After her solo performance, she wants a hamburger. I followed her through the Lower East Side of Manhattan to interview her about her upcoming post album, set to be released late winter/early spring. Hanging out and talking with this intriguing lyrical folk rock artist seemed an appropriate end to my exploration of good music in 2011.



Meanwhile, Santacon had begun its spontaneous and nonsensical dispersion of hundreds of flash mobs in Santa costumes, for no particular reason. By evening, inebriated St. Nicks had officially taken over the neighborhood. As flowing red and white costumed revelers spilled from the doorways of bars, we discussed the essential NYC venues of the year—the Knitting Factory, Mercury Lounge, and the Bitter End (Weldon has performed at all three). City Winery is Weldon's favorite venue—she performed there for the first time this year. And, of course, Rockwood Music Hall.



“Rockwood does make me skittish for some reason,” Weldon admits. “I don't know why. My first big show was there. I had maybe 80 people there when I was just starting out. And Rockwood is one of those places, that if you're going to really do it, and really play music in New York, you have to get booked there”



The set that night at Rockwood presented a gentler Julia Weldon, though she does curse and sing about Bloody Marys filled with tears. Weldon plays with a soft intensity, manipulating strings to either wail or weep. “I got this guitar when I was 15 years old. Does it sound okay?” she asks the audience. A response of whistles confirms it.



She explains briefly to the audience the problem with buying guitars—there is no such thing as a moderately priced good quality guitar. “You either buy a guitar that's a cheap piece of crap, or you have to spend $2000.” Weldon has accidentally stumbled across another metaphor for what people think of the New York music scene—you're either one of the many starving artists running around like cockroaches, or you actually become successful because you hop in and out of limos with a $2000 guitar.



I first heard about Julia Weldon in the summer of 2010, when she was advertised performing with her full band and horn player at the Mercury Lounge as “Julia Fucking Weldon.” I had been interviewing another band that summer (Community Gun, who have recently broken up) and was confronted with a guitarist, Josh Bass, who maintained, “I don't like any other bands in this city.” Finally, he admitted, “Julia Weldon.”



Rightfully compared to Elliot Smith, Ani DiFranco, and, yes, a little bit of Bob Dylan, Weldon says, “You can't play folk rhythm guitar—and I don't like to pigeonhole myself—but you can't play folk rhythm guitar and not channel Dylan.”



However, she hesitates to allow me to categorize her as a singer/songwriter, at least not in the first paragraph. People might stop reading. “I think that singer/songwriter has come to mean 'bad.' Don't you agree? It's like I always have to explain, well, yes, I'm a singer/songwriter, but I'm not bad.”





While waiting for her medium rare BLT burger at the counter of Mikey's (which turned out to be an excellent recommendation for a late night carnivore), among the sounds of hissing and sizzling in a busy grill, she talks about what it would be like to break out of New York—something many musicians in New York talk about all the time—to get on the road for a full-time tour. She has only recently returned from a couple gigs in San Francisco and LA. Slightly joking, I ask whether they know good music in California as well as we do in New York.



“Yeah, I think they do,” she laughs. “They do proselytize though. They're like, 'So, you're moving here.' I love it, I think it's hilarious.”



She brings us next door to one of her favorite Manhattan bars, the Local 138, with her burger and fries in a cardboard box, which she shares with her brother, Dan Weldon. He accompanies her as a friend and a sort of bodyguard.



While she was having a tequila at the bar among a group dressed in Santa costumes, a soldier in full camo gear tried to pick her up. Her brother intervened by quietly explaining, “Um, no, she likes girls.”



Weldon laughs, “I think this is the first time I was hit on by a man in uniform. I told him that I didn't support this government, but I did support him. And then he was asking for my name and said I was cute.”



I ask, “Is it possible to release this record or a great single that is recognized just for the quality of the music, and not have the label 'gay artist' attached to it?”



Weldon isn't worried about that, because she doesn't mind being labeled as a gay artist. Turns out, it was kind of a stupid question. “The point of this new album, it's that, yeah, this is who I am, and that's part of my music. And I'm definitely not into hiding that I - VZ Magazine


"Inside New York: Julia Weldon"

INY Music: Julia Weldon
Inside New York sat down with the fabulous singer-songwriter Julia Weldon to discuss her career, living in NYC, Justin Bieber, and our shared love of Costco and singing Adele in the shower.

When did you know that you wanted to be a musician?

I started playing guitar at thirteen and writing songs at fifteen. I grew up acting- and still act now- but in college songwriting became a really strong passion of mine. I started gigging NYC in 2007. Only about two years ago did I feel comfortable saying that I was a musician: I was actively pursuing it and it was carrying me along, it just started to feel natural. There are so many people in NYC doing what they love but it’s so hard. I realized that I have to do this and there’s nothing else I should be doing.


How did you start a music career in NYC?

I started performing [my music] at Vassar and then took a huge break after college to find out what life is. I started writing a lot for about nine months after and it took another year to start playing out. Someone booked a show for me to open and I was like a typical artist, ‘Okay, I’ll do it if I have to.’ When you feel really intense about something it’s hard to put it out the in the world! I started playing almost against my will. I played at Pete’s Candy Store, Bowery Poetry Club, and Pianos. When I began working with a manager, he began booking me gigs. It really helps in NYC to have someone booking you!

What were early performances like for you as an artist?

I’m currently making a film for a music and technology class I’m taking at Teachers College, and I’m really processing my whole career. In the beginning it was really exciting- it was easy and natural to perform. Now there’s more at stake when you’re playing bigger venues. I’m super comfortable on stage but I get so nervous before I play! In a good way, not stage fright, but I’m about to play for a bunch of people, friends and strangers! Nerves are the best thing for a performance. An artist who doesn’t have self-doubt is fake or self-invested… Something’s wrong. I like hearing that Adele gets nervous, it makes her real.

What inspires your music?

Relationships. It’s natural for any artist to be inspired by relationships and people, I can be in a very particular emotional state and I don’t even know what I’m going to express but it just comes out in me. The best songs come retrospectively about relationships. When you’re in one, it’s pretty hard to be objective and it’s hard if you have a partner to be like ‘Hey, this is how I feel.’ I write a bunch of good songs at the beginning and the end of relationships. Inspiration comes from honesty. You write what you have to write to get it out.

Are any of your songs difficult to perform live?

The more personal the songs are, the harder they are to perform. I don’t have a trained voice: I like music that’s not perfect! I love Bon Iver and people with nontraditional styles. Imperfections make music human– I love hearing a singer’s voice crack because that’s real. I’ll be in my room and I’ll be fine and sound great and then I’m up on stage and it’s a whole other ball game.

What’s your process for writing your songs?

If I’m in an emotional place everything comes out at once. Other times, I’ll come up with a melody in my head and then put guitar to it- C, A-minor, C, G, etc. I recently wrote a song that I thought of while I was driving home. I recorded it in my blackberry so I had it in my head, then I fleshed it out from here. A lot of times I’ll have a guitar riff and I don’t know what lyrics go with it, but it happens. It’s beautiful when the lyrics and melody come together in my head.

What’s the most important tool that you have as a musician?

As a songwriter my words are the best tool I have. Over the years, I’ve discovered the ways to craft lyrics: it’s an art form. As a musician my biggest tool is experimentation.

Do you have a favorite song to perform?

“Marian” I play at every single show no matter what happens. It would be my single if I had one. My next single will be “Meadow.” It goes back and forth between really quiet and really loud- it’s fun!

We assume you’ve been compared to Justin Bieber?

Yeah. [Laughs. A lot.] I won a Justin Bieber contest last month: I sang “Never Say Never” and won three hundred bucks! It was so much fun to perform Bieber, and I made it on to afterEllen’s “Justin vs Justin!” I’ve had the swoopy haircut forever, next time I get it cut I want to take a very serious photo and submit it to Lesbians Who Look Like Justin Bieber.

Do you have a favorite NYC performance venue?

I like it when the crowd is responsive! The Knitting factory is great but I haven’t played there recently. I really want to play City Winery!

What type of music do you listen to?

I always say that I am the musical lovechild of Ani Difranco and Elliot Smith- Smith is a huge influence on my music! Of course - Inside New York


"Live Performance"

August 25, 2008: From Host Jay Hammond: Well it was great to be back at Sound Fix after a long time away last night. There were a number of familiar faces, but some very talented new ones as well. Julia Weldon graced our stage for the first time. Check out her song Marian for a tragic/beautiful love ditty. - www.jezebelmusic.com/NYC/openmic.html


"One Woman who Draws a Crowd"

Julia Weldon is one of those transparent performers who wears her heart on her sleeve. Her lyrical songs speak beautifully to her unique sense of humor and perspective ("I wanna write like Bobby Dylan and go to jail like Johnny Cash"). Even her guitar strumming seems dictated by her impulses, alternating between big and passionate and quiet and gentle.
Playing for the first time at Rockwood Music Hall on June 30th (to a full house despite her admitted fears that no one would show up), Weldon was candid about her nerves. "I'm gonna forget some lyrics," she warned before one song, mid-set, "Just get ready for it."
And yet there is something about her that is charming and comforting despite all nerves. As an audience, you feel well taken care of.
It was a well thought out set, even visually, hinting at Weldon's career as an actor. "Apparently there are sitting and standing songs," she mused as she found herself moving to and from the stool.
She threw in one song a capella, short and sweet, and later invited Alyssa Robbins, a friend and peer in the singer/songwriter scene, to join her onstage. This duet hinted at a good idea for Weldon and her one-woman show; she shares the stage just as well as she holds it on her own, but some of her songs benefit from additional harmonies and instrumental layers.
She is a woman of surprises: the things that come out of her mouth are never what you're expecting. Even her songs go in unforeseen directions, such as "One of These Days" which dissolves pleasantly into her own version of "Over the Rainbow".
So who knows what to expect at Weldon's next show? Other than a charming performance. And probably a stool.

Photo credit: Rebecca Greenberg
Posted by Cassie at 6:42 AM 0 comments
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MUSIC, AS CASSIE SEES IT

New York City is a melting pot of live music; one of the country's hot spots for musicians, both established as well as up-and-coming. Let me tell you how I see it, so that you can get out and see it for yourself...

About Cassie


- Cassie Newman


Discography

LIGHT IS A GHOST

Physical Release Date - 7/19/13
Online Release Date - 8/20/13
12 track LP
produced by Saul Simon MacWilliams

JULIA WELDON (self-titled)
Self-Release - 2008
7 track EP

Photos

Bio

Light Is a Ghost is the follow up to Brooklyn indie-folk-pop artist Julia Weldon's 2008 self-titled debut. Produced by Saul MacWilliams (Ingrid Michaelson, Dan Romer) and featuring Adam Christgau (Sia, Tegan and Sara) on drums, the album showcases Weldons storytelling, voice, and unmistakable charisma.

Defined by its brash honesty, Light Is a Ghost is an American album in the truest sense. With an emotional resonance bigger than her own experience, Weldon tells the story of both the harsh city edges and limitless, open spaces. The album captures the feel of the open road on a late summer evening, while ruminating on past relationships that creep into that serenity.

Weldons album unfurls as an evolving ride through life, family and relationships, complete with the necessary loss, regret, resentment, and debauchery. With her confident guitar playing and Christgaus propulsive drumming, Light Is a Ghost is as exciting as it is heartfelt.

Classic while being contemporarily resonant, the albums twelve tracks draw on everything from indie folk to blues rock, dialoguing with current artists like Bon Iver, Iron and Wine, and Cat Power as well as legends like Bob Dylan, Elliott Smith and Suzanne Vega.

A self-taught, nationally touring musician, Julia Weldons possessing personality and captivating music crosses bridges and divides. With unfailing fingers, she tells stories that feel both intensely personal and widely universal. Unapologetically herself, Weldons songs grab you asking you to pull up a chair, pour yourself a whiskey, and stay a while.

"New York-based singer-songwriter Julia Weldon might be the most soulful singer you've never heard of." -The Advocate

"One of the primary keys to being a good and successful singer/songwriter is the ability to be honest. Stories, emotional arcs, none of this means a thing if its clear the artist is just putting on airs for a given occasion, playing something because it might create a cynically predetermined effect on the audience. None of this ever feels like a problem for Julia Weldon." -The Washington Times

"On her new record 'Light Is a Ghost,' singer-songwriter Julia Weldon acts as every good dream that's worth preserving after the alarm clock goes off." -The Deli NYC

Band Members