. : : August 3rd, 2010 : : .
I went into Julie Fader‘s set opening for Kathleen Edwards at the Dakota Tavern as a blank slate — I’d never heard of her, let alone heard her, and was hoping to be wowed. I’m glad I went into it with no expectations, because I probably would have been very let down.
Julie’s songs are all very down-tempo and decidedly undynamic. I don’t mean that to sound insulting: bands such as Azure Ray have pulled it off to great effect. Julie has all the right ingredients — a beautiful voice, serious guitar skills, and a clear knack for crafting songs. However, the sparse set up of Julie flanked by two skilled but quiet (and often tacit) guitarists simply exposed how wanting her strong voice and compositions scream to be filled out by a rhythm section. Without it, the songs began to feel very same-y and, lacking decisive or consistent lyrical or instrumental hooks, her set often felt elongated.
Listening to her album afterward on her MySpace proves my hypothesis right: the addition of bass, drums, keyboards and other various instruments transform the songs into sonic soundscapes that, while perhaps not exactly the dictionary definition of exciting, make her songs easier and more enjoyable to digest.
This recording isn’t likely to win Julie any new fans — at least not upon a single listen (which is a shame because the talent and ability is unquestioningly there) — but will hopefully serve as a point of interest for existing fans who are intrigued by the notion of dissecting the songs to their core essence.
02. Sending Mixed Messages
04. Middle of the Night
06. Goodbye Before Hello
08. I Am An Island (?)
Thanks to Julie Fader & band, and the Dakota Tavern.