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“Mr. Tambourine Men”
It’s hard not to be whisked away into some sort of melodic beach fantasy while listening to Julie the Band’s Wild As the Sky. Their sophomore album was tweaked and perfected in their Venice, CA studio – and it’s obvious that round two meant getting down to the nitty gritty with raw, dirty lyrics and surprising beats. The album opens up with “Working For the Wind,” which sets the pace for the rest of the record, especially the inclusion of the ever-present banjo. “Wild as the Sky” is the most Southern yet contemporary song here, with an extremely elastic, restful sound. It’s acoustic and eclectic and makes being on the road sound distinctly comforting and eye opening.
Through Wild As the Sky, one can see the bands eagerness to evolve and test their limits as musicians. “A Perfect Match” mimics those first stages of a new romance by using poppy, witty beat changes, the introduction of slide guitar and soft yet relatable lyrics. While each song gets a bit more serious, Julie the Band no doubt had fun making this album, which is evident through the unpredictable polyphonic vocals sprinkled throughout numerous tracks.
The album sounds as laidback as the band seems, and ends with “Free As a Cowboy,” a soulfully understated piece that moves vastly away from the rest of the tambourine and banjo filled songs. The introduction of the tambourine on this album could be attributed to their professed inspiration from Bob Dylan. Either way, it’s clear Julie the Band wanted audiences to leave with an strong impression – if this last song is a hint at what’s to come in the future, be prepared to continuously slip into a ’90s soulful alternative rock trance. (Baby Bird Records)
Produced by Nathan Blumenfeld and James and Dustin Bath