Friday, December 04, 2009

A Conversation with Julie Peel

Julie Peel is a charming up-and-coming singer-songwriter hailing from France and Canada. She recently released her first full-length record on American Laundromat, Near the Sun, and has been on tour with Joe Purdy throughout the U.S. this fall, stopping by The Jammin' Java in nearby Vienna on Nov. 19.
Near the Sun features acoustic, sunshiny pop enhanced by Peel's pleasant no-frills vocals, and sweet lyrics about life and love. The first track, "Living in a Movie," calls on Kimya Dawson-type up-front delivery and beachy rhythms, while "Innocence" takes minor chords to a new level with a raw-sounding violin. The album's best folksy anthem, "Once More With Feeling," was a hit live with its uplifting chorus. Peel took the stage at 8 p.m. and delivered a quiet but enjoyable set, offering slightly nervous stage banter between songs. But the audience took to her unassuming approach and appealing accent, and though most were there for the main act, Arkansas singer-songwriter Joe Purdy, many walked away Julie Peel fans.

WGTB got a chance to sit down with Peel before the show and talk to her about her love for the Pixies, her fall tour, and her upcoming punk-rock side project.

WGTB: How did you get started playing music? That’s a big question…
Julie: (laughs) Like the worst [question]! When I was 14, I guess, I started playing the drums for a band, a punk band, and then I was like, the drums are not creative enough, not good enough to compose songs. And I had wanted to write songs and stuff so I decided to start with the guitar, and I listened to the Pixies and bands like this, and all these bands influenced me a lot and so I started to learn the guitar.
WGTB: What are the biggest things that inspire your writing right now, on this album?
Julie: On this album…I guess everything, like relationships of course, but everything like growing up. I think these are the main themes, growing up and relationships, these two things.
WGTB: So how did you get into touring with Joe Purdy, how did that happen?
Julie: Last month I played Hotel CafĂ© in Los Angeles, and they really liked me over there apparently, that’s what I heard. And so Joe asked them, do you know anybody that is good and could support me? And apparently they said Julie Peel.
WGTB: Cool.
Julie: Yeah, I feel really flattered. It’s really nice.
WGTB: So how has the tour been going so far?
Julie: Oh, its great, its awesome, really. Joe is amazing and is a brilliant artist as you know, but is also so sweet and everything, its been like a blast to be with him.
WGTB: That’s awesome. So what’s next, are you going to record another album do you think?
Julie: Yes, definitely, its in the process. I’m writing songs right now and its gonna be—do you know The Paper Raincoat or Vienna Teng? Well there’s a girl actually, Amber Rubarth, she’s playing here on the first of December, and she’s in the Paper Raincoat, you should check her out. And this guy Alex Wong was in the Paper Raincoat, he is gonna produce the album, he produced Vienna Teng's last album.
WGTB: That’s exciting!
Julie: Yeah! It’s really exciting. I can’t wait.
WGTB: Is there anything else that you want your fans to know? About your music?
Julie: Do I have fans?
(Julie’s manager interjects: She doesn’t even know she has fans!)
Julie: (laughs) I don’t know, I’m just so happy to be touring, it’s been so good and we’re selling a lot of CDs and I didn’t expect that. I'm collaborating with people, I have another side project, a rock project.
WGTB: Oh really? What's that like?
Julie: I don't have a name yet, but its going to be kind of like a Nada's in process, in Brooklyn with people from Brooklyn.
WGTB: So that will be a different sound?
Julie: Yeah, very different. Like big guitars, and stuff like that. It's pretty exciting, I can't wait.

Listen to "Once More with Feeling" from Near the Sun:
<a href="">Once More With Feeling by Julie Peel</a>
Check out Julie Peel's album on BandCamp
Listen to Julie Peel on MySpace Music

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