(New Album Review) Joel St. Julien- Every Rise [EP]

San Francisco based composer, multi-instrumentalist, and visual artist Joel St. Julien is the kind of guy who stays in the mode of a juggler, as taxing as it may be, because of the unexpected connections it yields. A passion for music and sound for their own sake is the engine behind both his commissioned soundtrack work for film and dance and the song collections he has put out both with Joel Tarman as ELLUL and now under his own name, on the self-released Every Rise EP.

One gets the impression of an assiduously self-motivated songwriter-architect putting the indietronica thing to work to form something ruminative and emotive in the vein of Bibio and later Radiohead when listening to St. Julien’s soft falsetto-ing weaving in and out of the beat-driven soundscapes of this new EP, which was recorded mostly late at night after St. Julien had put his daughter to bed. But what’s more, there are hints of the textural explorations of his more avant garde influences William Basinski and Tim Hecker at the disintegrating corners of the mostly instrumental “How I Process the City of the Future”. The experimental frames suits these emotional sketches well, since the lyrics repeatedly return to themes of feeling like things are a mess while trying to sort things out and commit for real, and I’ll bet that you can relate. My favorite was the reverb-soaked “60 Days”, which has a verse I quite liked, “Dreams don’t make sense/Multi-tasking/Is my head stuck in the ground?”

Check it out!


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