Track x Track: Julia Wallace - 'Across The Water' EP

Track x Track: Julia Wallace - 'Across The Water' EP

23 year-old multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer and vocalist takes us through her stunning sophomore EP, track by track

Image credit: Emma Daisy

We’ve been huge fans of Perth/Boorloo’s Julia Wallace for a while now, which when you consider she’s only 23 is no mean feat. After we first met her as a 19 year old with her debut solo single, Warm Light, she was kind enough to take us through her acclaimed debut EP, Place In Mind.

Fast forward to 2024 and Wallace has been honing her skills all the while, finding herself as a touring member of both Methyl Ethel & Stella Donnelly’s live band, while she’s just recently relocated to Melbourne to work as a producer at Dare Studios.

Somehow she’s also found time to finish off her second EP, Across The Water, an emotional collection of six tracks that picks up where her debut left off. A record of Julia’s patented “big feelings” alt-pop, Across The Water sees a mix of piano and horns driving the compositions, with stripped back drums pushing things along without stealing the show.

With Across The Water out now, Julia was kind enough to once again talk us through her new EP track by track - have a listen and get to know!

My second EP is here!

These songs have been written and recorded over the past 3 years and hearing it as a whole I can hear myself growing up in these songs. It’s a diary of the last few years of my life weaving in and out of love and grief and big feelings. The title of the EP, Across the Water, is how I feel now listening to these songs. I’m looking back and seeing all these feelings I’ve put into this music from the future, I’ve swam a big way across the water through these songs.

The sonic world is similar to my first EP with lots of layers of vocals, piano and flugelhorns. I recorded 4 of the songs at home in Perth and 2 songs at the Perch in Castlemaine, VIC.

Like I Miss the Rain

I wrote this after I needed some time to be by myself and I found out that being alone is scary. It’s also a bit of an acknowledgement of my faults and mistakes in how I tend to handle big changes and conversations.

Right Time

Someone said to me that they didn’t want to turn the light off by the bed because then they’d have to start another day again so soon - I didn’t know what to respond. Right Time is a song about that moment and references lots of big thoughts I was having at the time. It’s about reliance. It’s about not knowing what to say. It’s about being too late to say things and not being brave enough to take chances. It’s about death. It’s about not knowing how to be vulnerable around family.

Awake

This song is for a dear friend who passed away recently. ‘Awake’ was a late addition to the EP. I think she would like to hear it. Making this song has helped me in grief.

Next Year

This is a really simple song. I love simplicity. It’s about holding in feelings and being in a cycle of compartmentalising. It’s also about how I can suddenly write music when I’m not feeling so good.

Soft Touch

I think I fall in love fast and hard. I generally find it tricky to write songs about relationships when I’m in them, but this is one I wrote when I was in love.

P.S. for the fellow nerds out there: I was learning about some classical music theory and a teacher showed me the technique of modulation referred to as ‘Schubert’s thirds’. This is what I used for the vibe change into the really moody outro. This harmonic move transports the music to a whole parallel world just by moving a chord down a major third.

Throw Your Arms Around Me

This is my cover of an iconic song by Hunters & Collectors. I started this by wanting to sing the song at the piano but I didn’t know the correct chords, so I sung their song over some random chords I played, and I thought it sounded pretty nice! I love this song.

          - Julia Wallace, February 2024

Julia Wallace Across the Water Cover

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