Julia Harris - These Days EP
Reviewed by Dave on 2nd September 2006
The set up is simple, Julia plays the guitar and sings, Andy Coughlan provides the double bass, and Yotin drums. This simplicity is what makes These Days a joy to listen to. The music itself is acoustic with a hip-hop baseline.
The title track These Days provides the introduction to the EP and lays down the path for the rest of the tracks to follow. The backing and the guitar puts me in mind of something from Paul Simon's Negotiations and Love Songs, however as the song goes on it becomes less and less like something Simon. The song builds up from its overly simple beginnings into a more complex sounding middle eight.
Sticks and Stones, the second track follows a far more RnB path with obvious jazz leanings, it's much slower than These Days, and sounds more spontaneous; the way those really horrible jazz songs were. Towards the end it does seem to slide into one of those "jams" that I associate with jazz music, you know the ones that seemed to go on and on for days. Sticks and Stones starts off quite well and I enjoy listening to the first minute or so but after that I lose interest, it is too slow and doesn't seem to go anywhere, it also reminds me of Killing Me Softly (The Fugees version), which isn't really a bad thing I guess.
The third song Your Love is a more traditionally acoustic song it has a Damien Rice-esque riff and Julia's vocals even sound similar to Rice's, the quiet verses which build into a louder chorus makes the song sound like Delicate or The Blower's Daughter. Finally there is Leave, a live studio jam; this final song is once again an RnB song it's an entertaining little number about what should have been.
Julia Harris' These Days EP is an entertaining journey through RnB and acoustic influences. Her songs tell stories, something that Andreas recently wrote a feature about, the songs on These Days are about love, whether about recently losing someone, being hurt by the one you love or finding someone new. Give Julia a listen and you won't be disappointed.
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