Meet Julia Why? and the latest single from their second album, Pocket
The Sydney-based three-piece share another taste of garage-rock, this time arriving with a huge east-coast tour.
Sydney-based rock trio Julia Why? aren't necessarily new to the garage-rock circuit, having released their debut album Wheel back in 2015 (with another EP a few years earlier). However, they're still reasonably low-key in comparison to the genre's big local dogs, so there's no better time to get on board and know them a little better with the release of Pocket - a new cut from their forthcoming second album. Taking influence from melodic 90s alt-rock, Pocket is a bit more of a low-key single from the trio, with their typically quick-paced drive replacement with one a little more subdued. In turn, this allows you to really soak up the lyrics and theme within them, which as frontwoman Julia Wylie explains, comes from a pretty political stand-point. "I wrote this song after the government announced it wanted to drug test welfare recipients," she says on the single. "When people are down and out, they need help - not another knee-jerk policy that demonises vulnerable people and does nothing to address what leads to addiction in the first place."
With a new album on the way and a bunch of east-coast dates to come over September/October, get to know Julia Why? and Pocket a little better below:
Tell us about yourselves?
I released my first EP as Julia Why? in 2012 and then an album with the band in 2015. A bunch of exciting things happened really quickly that year like touring Canada and supporting people I love like Hinds, The Hard Ons and Waxahatchee. When we returned from touring overseas, Matt (guitarist) went to live down south and Peter Beringer (drummer) and I broke up. Even though I’d moved out, we kept playing music together. Our friendship and musical connection somehow withstood that relationship breakdown. In 2016 Caleb Jacobs joined the band. We met when I started playing bass in The Cathys, another Sydney band that Caleb also played in. So we’ve been together for about two years.
These past two years have been pretty turbulent for me personally and the world and the band! Break ups, the ‘Me Too’ movement, psych wards, chronic illness, Trump, Turdball. The new album was written during all this, so it’s a bit of a rollercoaster. The band is cathartic for all of us - it’s a way for us to process and release all this crazy shit that’s constantly happening.
What kinda tunes we talkin’?
Grunge-y pop songs you can dance to and cry over. Think fast drums, dreamy guitars, bass a la The Breeders, and ethereal vocals with a sprinkle of Kathleen Hanna.
I write the bulk of the songs and we flesh them out together during practice. We record everything at Audile Design in Marrickville, the recording studio part of Video Club that our drummer Peter Beringer set up. This album’s production has been pretty collaborative which has been real fun! Pete does most of the work but I love listening to a mix with a fresh perspective where I end up getting ideas for new harmony parts or a weird edit. It’s super satisfying listening back after all the tweaks and watching the song solidify.
Can you tell us about your new single, Pocket?
I wrote this song last year when the government announced it wanted to start drug testing welfare recipients. Another joke of a policy from a government that demonises vulnerable people to win votes rather than address why people slide into poverty and addiction in the first place. I was thinking about that when I wrote the lyrics. The song came together by accident when we were jamming during band practice one day just before we started recording - so it wasn’t even really 'meant' to be on this new album. Love surprises like that.
Any shows coming up?
We’re playing a heap of shows in NSW before heading to Melbourne. Plus we’re super lucky to have Le Pie playing the drums for us on this tour - cannot wait.
What’s the rest of the year have in store?
We’re going to release another single before the year is out and some spicy music videos so stay tuned.
Where can we hear more of your music?
September 21st - Sunk Bar, Narabeen
September 27th - Waywards, Sydney
September 30th -Croation Club, Newcastle
October 4th - Frank's Wild Years, Thirroul
October 5th - Parramatta
October 11th - The Tote, Melbourne
October 12th - The Grace Darling, Melbourne
October 13th - Lady Hampshire, Sydney
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