Julie Hill

Julie Hill

Galtta Media, 2021


REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


A New York artist who is well versed in keyboards, synthesizers, and vocals, Julie Hill is in the company of Paul Millar (bass, guitar, synth), Steve Bartashev (drums), Jared Yee (saxophone), and Robert Valera (beats, modular synth) on this very interesting and well thought out experimental and sophisticated pop listen. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

“Transience” starts the listen with a firm buzzing as bright synth helps illuminate the '80s spirit where Hill's radiant vocals are met with punchy drums and bouncy bass work. Deeper into the track, Yee's well-timed saxophone only adds to the appeal of the strong lead track. “Avow” follows with a calmer display of dreamy synth-pop you can't help but admire, while “Unmade” has a very mature approach that embraces a soulfulness amid Millar's agile guitar lines.

The middle tracks offer the beat friendly and modular synth from Valera on the playful, danceable “Danse,” while “Lego” is a precisely textured and busy affair of cosmic, dynamic song craft. “Abbracito,” one of the record's best, then shimmers with a lively and nostalgic disco delivery that just might get you searching for your roller skates.

Landing near the end, “Theme For Ralph Hancock” is a smooth and charming instrumental that showcases a timeless, fluid skill set, and “Cr(i)” exits the listen calm, spacey, and with Hill's light, airy vocals guiding the bare, mysterious finish.

Hill's background in classical composing and synth acrobatics certainly come in handy here, as she recorded this debut album straight to tape. Often bringing to mind the greatness achieved by fellow New Yorker Adrian Knight or Geneva Jacuzzi, Hill and company fuse pop, disco, and New Wave with a cinematic presence.

Limited to a mere 100 copies on cassette, for fans of modern and vintage variations of synth-pop, you'd be wise to act quick if you want a copy.

Rating: B+

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