Julia Brown emerged earlier this year, out of the ashes of soon to be legendary Teen Suicide, to release one of the best debut releases of the year, the simple but heartfelt demo to be close to you. It was eight tracks of pure and lovely lo-fi indie-pop, the type of release that is so effortless one could not possibly believe that it was crafted by a band that had just formed. But it was, and if that tape didn't somehow convince people that Julia Brown were rising indie-pop stars, their debut single might be the thing that cements it.
The 7" opens with a rerecording of "Library", possibly the catchiest song on their demo. While the rerecording does strip away some of the intimacy that was contained within the original version, the track is bolstered by the new rocking quality; every instrumental coming in clearly and deliberately as the song builds and builds to its stunning, ramshackle center before tipping off as it ends. Whatever form it takes, "Library" will always be a stunning piece of indie-pop: the way the violin makes everything swell, how the bass bounces off everything in the song, and how it ends perfectly with the female vocals as the coda. B-side "I wanna be a Witch" is a lot clearer representation of the hi-fi sound here. The acoustic guitar snaps, the violin has a mournful quality to it, and the song itself feels more subdued than anything they've done before; fitting for a song built around longing for someone that isn't there. The last track "The way you want" is a pure acoustic track, nothing more then quick plucking and interlocked boy/girl vocals, sounding as it was recorded in the dead of night while no one was looking. It's almost haunting, and almost take away from the indie-pop feel of the 7" if not for its brief length, which instead lets it feel like just the right ending to this quick little disk.
This 7" is almost radically different from Julia Brown's demo. A shift to higher fidelity shouldn't change a band's sound, but here, the lovingly falling apart qualities of the band's songs have been a much more personal, constructed, and ever so more melancholy approach to their indie-pop. Which is completely fine; Julia Brown more than demonstrate here how they are able to embrace a new song properly, still crafting songs as sweet and enduring as their older ones.
Julia Brown's Facebook
Buy the "Library b/w I wanna be a witch" 7" here, from Birdtapes