4 Aug 2020
UsernamePassword

Remember Me? | Join | Recover
Click here to sign in via social networking

Julia Deans - Album Review: We Light Fire

11 May 2018 // A review by jacquiew

The acclaimed Modern Fables was always going to be a tough act to follow and Julia Deans has taken her time to follow it – with a full seven-year gap between album releases. She hasn’t been resting on her laurels in between times, however, with a number of noteworthy ventures filling the space. My personal favourite was her spellbinding show paying tribute to the songs of Joni Mitchell.

Deans is in fine vocal form on We Light Fire with the opening track Clandestine providing a compelling performance. Surely Deans must be counted amongst our top contemporary female vocalists. Her control and range is impressive and I found myself hanging on every note of this mesmerising track.

Walking in the Sun will be familiar to listeners, having been released as a single last year to whet our appetites for the full album.

The middle of the album, while solid, doesn’t pack the same creative punch as the its bookend tracks. I found several of the tracks overlong and perhaps a little busy and overblown production-wise. 

The title track We Light Fire is a whole different matter, however. It’s absolutely fantastic. It’s sparse, subtle, lyrically elegant and perfectly balanced. “All I want in this life is a light to relieve me from the cold and the dark 'til the dawn,” sings Deans. At its best Deans' music provides just such a light, and this track is the stand out of the album.

Burning Cars has a riveting air of menace about it and a serpentine vocal line. Centre is a cool and slinky Sunday morning track to listen to with the windows open and the curtains billowing. Chelsea is very strongly reminiscent of Joni Mitchell and clearly a sonic homage to the great artist herself. Very few vocalists could do such a track justice in the way that Deans does. It’s simply glorious.

This is another strong album from Deans. While it’s not the breakthrough album that Modern Fables was, it’s still an excellent collection of tracks from one of our leading musical lights. When We Light Fire hits its sweet spots it’s utterly gorgeous.

★★★★ (4 stars)



Review written by Jacquie Walters

 

About Julia Deans

Having first come to the fore as the sassy and beguiling front woman for platinum-selling band Fur Patrol at the turn of the century, the past decade has seen Julia Deans transition from iconic rock chick to glorious songbird.

Deans’ first solo album Modern Fables was released to critical acclaim in 2010, earning her a swag of nominations for several coveted musical accolades including the Taite Music Prize, the APRA Silver Scroll (for A New Dialogue) and Best Female Solo Artist and Best Pop Album at the NZ Music Awards.

Though it has been close to eight years between releases, Deans’ collection of songs We Light Fire, released in 2018, saw her return to the song writing fore enriched with experience and full of purpose. Inspired by world events, friends, and family, the new album examines both what it means to be human, and our spectrum of strength and vulnerability.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Julia Deans

Releases

We Light Fire
Year: 2018
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
Modern Fables
Year: 2010
Type: Album
A New Dialogue
Year: 2009
Type: EP

Other Reviews By jacquiew

Chris Lake - EP Review: Explore
13 Jul 2020 // by jacquiew
Christchurch singer-songwriter Chris Lake establishes a pleasurable groove from the outset on his EP Explore. As the title suggests, Lake explores the many moods and twists and turns of love, but never in a self-indulgent way.
Read More...
Belladonna - Single Review: Calling Out Your Name
25 Mar 2020 // by jacquiew
Wellington-based singer-songwriter Belladonna’s second single Calling Out Your Name is a refreshing and surprisingly upbeat piece of work, especially given its topic of clinging on to the past. Belladonna has a gift for writing a catchy hook, and she employs that talent to great effect here.
Read More...
Jen Turner - Single Review: Singing With Whales
12 Mar 2020 // by jacquiew
Singing with Whales by Jen Turner is a real gem of a single. Reflective and introspective in the particular way that break up songs tend to be, it’s also seriously catchy.
Read More...
Ria Hall - Album Review: Manawa Wera
27 Feb 2020 // by jacquiew
Ria Hall’s new collection of songs Manawa Wera is everything anyone could want from a new release. Hall is without doubt one of Aotearoa’s finest female vocalists and her material is thought-provoking and moving without ever being strident or preachy.
Read More...
Gig Review: Jackie Bristow @ The Boathouse, Nelson - 14/02/2020
15 Feb 2020 // by jacquiew
There was a lot to love about Jackie Bristow’s performance at The Boathouse in Nelson. The Boathouse has got to be one of the most spectacular settings in New Zealand for a music venue.
Read More...
Levi Lights On Project - Single Review: Like A Tie
14 Nov 2019 // by jacquiew
Levi Lights On Project have a knack for writing material that captures the zeitgeist and their latest single is no exception. Moody, gritty and evocative, Like a Tie is the perfect song for a television or film soundtrack with a Walter Mitty-esque theme of an office worker or corporate executive who dreams of throwing off the shackles of the 9 to 5 and living a more colourful existence.
Read More...
Albi & The Wolves - Gig Review: Albi and the Wolves @ Room Twenty5, Nelson
26 Oct 2019 // by jacquiew
Auckland-based trio Albi and the Wolves have made a real impression on the festival scene both here and overseas, especially since their Best Folk Artist of the Year Tui Award win in 2018. Just days ago, the group were named in the line-up for WOMAD 2020, a well-deserved nod for the very hardworking and talented Chris Dent, Micheal Young, and Pascal Roggen.
Read More...
Gig Review: Tami Neilson @ Nelson Arts Festival - 21/10/2019
22 Oct 2019 // by jacquiew
Tami Neilson is outrageously excellent. Her voice is full, powerful, nuanced and rich.
Read More...
View All Articles By jacquiew

NZ Top 10 Singles

  • SAVAGE LOVE (LAXED - SIREN BEAT)
    Jawsh 685 x Jason DeRulo
  • CARDIGAN
    Taylor Swift
  • GO CRAZY
    Chris Brown And Young Thug
  • ROCKSTAR
    DaBaby feat. Roddy Ricch
  • EXILE
    Taylor Swift feat. Bon Iver
  • IN THE AIR
    L.A.B.
  • THE 1
    Taylor Swift
  • ROSES (IMANBEK REMIX)
    SAINt JHN
  • WHAT'S POPPIN'
    Jack Harlow
  • BREAKING ME
    Topic feat. A7S
View the Full NZ Top 40...
muzic.net.nz Logo
100% New Zealand Music
All content on this website is copyright to muzic.net.nz and other respective rights holders. Redistribution of any material presented here without permission is prohibited.
Report a ProblemReport A Problem