Julia Messenger - "And We Danced"
Review by Abby Kenna
“And We Danced” by Julia Messenger sounds like the bittersweet taste left in your mouth after leaving a toxic relationship.
The steady pulse of the bass line is the heartbeat of “And We Danced”, thumping along a solid, compelling rhythm that drives the song forward. This low, subtle foundation lets Messenger use the guitar artfully, sprinkling touches of harmonics and distorted melodies across the soundscape for dynamic. These ad-libs add an element of rawness to the song, as feedback filters in for quick moments of tension or an unfiltered slap of a guitar cuts into the mix. Just the subtle touch of vulnerability in the guitars builds the atmosphere of “And We Danced”, bolstered by the hypnotizing lull of the bass.
Julia Messenger’s voice has its unique character - it’s poetic and articulate, but also tinged with a hint of witty humor. You can hear the movie scene she directs in the indigo tones of her low melodies and candid delivery:
“When you look in the mirror what do you see?
Are you a reflection of me?”
A staggering choir of harmonies envelopes Messenger’s articulate voice, washing the chorus in a new wave of color and emotion. The lyrics are strewn with questions directed at the other half of this toxic relationship, giving “And We Danced” a satirical, bitter edge. Messenger’s style feels reminiscent of Alanis Morissette, between the 90s, bass-heavy instrumentals, and the eloquent banter of the lyricism. The world seems to move in slow motion around the cynical narrator as she comments on these biting, yet casual observations of her surroundings.
“Seek approval from father
Do you want me to play the game?
My blood your blood it’s all the same.”
“And We Danced” is mesmerizing and sultry, poetic yet blunt, in the most heart-wrenchingly bittersweet way. Julia Messenger plays with a colorful sonic palette, composing a truly captivating work of art within this song.
About Julia Messenger
Julia Messenger’s exquisite vocal technique and unique ability to get to the heart of a song have earned her rave reviews around the world. This versatile singer-songwriter, with a magnetic stage presence and voice expressing an incredible range of tone, mood, and emotion, has a busy career both in Australia and abroad. Dubbed a 'world-class' singer by fans and press alike, her songs and productions have appeared on albums alongside names such as Amy Winehouse, Norah Jones, Joss Stone, Moby, Bebel Gilberto, Boozoo Bajou, Nitin Sawhney, Groove Armada, Ursula Rucker, Goldfrapp, Kruder & Dorfmeister, Zero 7, Rae & Christian, Basement Jaxx, Jamie Callum, Sarah McLachlan, and Julee Cruise.
As a songwriter/singer and producer she has co-written and appeared on albums with legendary musicians of our time such as Klaus Schulze (Tangerine Dream/ Alphaville), Ferry Corsten (#5 DJ in the world today), Kraftwerk and the list goes on. Her voice also sparked the interest of ‘Kraftwerk’s’ Henning Schmitz. One of their collaborations ‘Look Up Look Down’ was mentioned in the New York Times as one of the top 10 on the playlist for U.S. restaurants (along with Queen Latifah and Nat King Cole). Her voice has been likened to such artists as Sade, Dido, Norah Jones, Ursula Rucker, Lisa Gerrard, Annie Lennox, Sinead O’Connor, and Donna Summer, - although given the diversity of these artists, her style is her own.
Her vocals have been called ‘sultry, sexy, superb, stunning, sweet, scorching, intense, dizzying, cream, aromatic, bewitching, exotic, exceptional, luxurious’.. and the list goes on. As such, she is consistently asked to collaborate with a variety of artists around the world all at the top of their field, and sings anything well from jazz, pop, and all styles of electronica. Her songs range from quirky, fun, and danceable; or they entice a level of intimacy, drama, and movement. In all her music, she aims to form a connection with other people and to help them feel less of an island. Either through melody or rhythm, she strives to make music that people can feel themselves through.
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