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Juliet McLean - Album Review: Unlash the Boats

12 Mar 2020 // A review by IslaMusic
New Plymouth based band O Juliet have released their debut album, the mystical and mysterious Unlash the Boats. The album begins with a shuffling rhythm section and smooth electric keyboard as Juliet herself laments the pain of losing what she mistook for love. She talks of lining her nerves in a row, as she gathers the energy and strength to leave. The backing vocals from the band add a solemn triumph to the piece, as if Juliet is returning from battle safe, but injured.

The second piece, Figured it Out, feels lighter. The electric piano that drives the soundscape of the album is less melancholy, and more thoughtful. The lyrics talk of moving through disappointments with maturity. With lounge jazz influences, the song sits somewhere between empowering and defeated. She says that it’s “never enough to dream in the light of others”, seemingly moved to find fulfilment from herself.

Juliet’s lyrics are thought provoking. She writes in metaphors that provide enough information to keep you interested without revealing too much. My favourite track on the album is Set the Fire, which uses creative guitar effects and once again demonstrates Juliet’s poetic ability.

The title track Unlash the Boats utilises creative synths, and sound effects that appear reversed. The result is a disorienting. Leaving Copper Mountain allows time for the listener to pause and think. The production is charmingly low-fi.

Finally, the album ends on an uplifting note with Somebody’s Sweetheart. Produced by Rhythm Ace, Unlash the Boats is worth a listen for its creativity, and ultimately calming timbre. O Juliet should be proud of the final product they worked hard to release. We look forward to seeing where their music takes them next.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )

About Juliet McLean

Singer-songwriter Juliet McLean was raised and still lives in Taranaki under the steady presence of Te Maunga O Taranaki beside the ever-changing west coast sea – a perfect allegory for this continually evolving, talented artist.

A gifted storyteller, her song's poetic themes straddle the bittersweet paradox of human experience in love, life and family.

After the release of her debut EP The Dance in 2015 and LP Unlash the Boats in 2019 - under the moniker, 'O Juliet' - her focus turned away from the work of studio production back to the craft of song writing and solo performance.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Juliet McLean


Amaze Me
Year: 2022
Type: EP
Unlash The Boats
Year: 2019
Type: Album

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