Juliagrace: Beautiful Survivor (Parachute)

 |   |  1 min read

Juliagrace: Diamond
Juliagrace: Beautiful Survivor (Parachute)

One problem with being identified as a "Christian artist" -- as so many have discovered -- is that there is a resistance to them outside that market, and because of that many simply give up and stay with the audience which has and will support them.

The other problem is that it means many outside of Christian circles are denied hearing some exceptional singers and songwriters -- most of whom who have no overt Christian agenda in their lyrics.

One such is the captivating Juliagrace who has a clear and confident voice, a sense of humour (see the clip below) and writes songs which have neatly ambiguous meanings: they may be songs of faith -- as in the chorus of Thanks to You here -- but equally they can be read as secular.

Certainly she delivers one of the finest songs about the joy of family life away from the social parade of weekends (Perfect Reason), and with discreet orchestration here to give further emotional uplift to songs like Open Window she proves that she can not only write but deliver with warmth and conviction.

Shifting easily between alt.folk (the reflective Stitched Up, the interesting Sweet Emily with a hint of early Joni Mitchell) and open-hearted pop balladry, Juliagrace -- a mother of two I believe -- brings a maturity of lyric and thought to these songs which is uncommonly observant and sympathetic.

The sorrow-filled yet optimistic Diamond here is . . . well, a gem actually.

And I'd bet you could slip this in front of a couple of dozen people and not one would know she was a regular the Parachute festival . . . or that her debut album won the New Zealand music award in 2006 for best Christian/gospel album.

They would just hear a terrific singer-songwriter with a mainline to classic pop ballads and thoughtful lyrics.

A note to about the packaging: as much care and attention to detail has been applied to that as the songs and production. Which enhances the sense that this as fine an album from a local singer-songwriter as you are likely to hear.  

Share It

Your Comments

Brenda Lewis - Aug 23, 2010

What an amazing review. Yes, I agree she is extremely talented. By the way, Thanks to You is written about her father.
Cheers.

Hannah - Aug 26, 2010

Yes - tis a fab album all round - go Julia!!!

Brian Mooney - Sep 2, 2010

Julia has such massive talent with her remarkable strong voice, skillful song writing and lyrics that make you want to hear her over and over again. Not to mention her stage presence and a great Kiwi sense of humour.

Brian

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Trip to the Moon: Welcome to the Big Room (Ode)

Trip to the Moon: Welcome to the Big Room (Ode)

This astral-ambient and very trippy outfit from Auckland record far too infrequently for my liking, and this seductive offering is further evidence of the singular path they have been travelling... > Read more

Family Cactus: Come Howling (Sony)

Family Cactus: Come Howling (Sony)

Given that members of this seven piece have connections with excellent New Zealand bands such as the Brunettes, the Nudie Suits, Grand Prix, Good Laika and others, you'd think this album would have... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

RADIO RADIO: Odd podcasts from Radio New Zealand's Concert Programme

RADIO RADIO: Odd podcasts from Radio New Zealand's Concert Programme

For many years now I have been contributing a 20 minute chat with music to Radio New Zealand's Upbeat segment on the Concert Programme. My brief has been broad, so broad that I might be best... > Read more

A FAST 15 MINUTES: The ones that got away

A FAST 15 MINUTES: The ones that got away

Well known artists can deliver great songs, but they don't often find an audience. This 15 minute audio programme introduces some that unfortunately went right past most people. For more of these... > Read more