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

Greg Fleming: Working Poor Country (all main digital platforms)

Greg Fleming: Working Poor Country (all main digital platforms)

In a recent Facebook conversation I instigated, I questioned how little political comment there has been in New Zealand popular music. As expected, many people weighed in with particular songs .... > Read more

Cat Power: Jukebox (Matador)

Cat Power: Jukebox (Matador)

Covers albums can be uneven and most often uncalled for: usually they represent some stopgap measure for an artist, and at their worst seem pretty pointless, like Patti Smith's recent Twelve in... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE BEST MUSIC OF ELSEWHERE IN 2018: The shape of things that came

THE BEST MUSIC OF ELSEWHERE IN 2018: The shape of things that came

Rather than wait a year to look back at the best albums to come out in 2018, Elsewhere though it would get a jump on the game and reflect back on the year to come and single out the best ever of... > Read more

5 FLIGHTS UP, a film by RICHARD LONCRAINE

5 FLIGHTS UP, a film by RICHARD LONCRAINE

When, about 12 years ago, I bought the modest townhouse I'm in, I went through what is called a “blind auction”. For those who don't know what this... > Read more