A Review of Black Crow by Juliette Jules
By Kevin Tshiamala
About this time last year I was enjoying the Parisian way of life, living in Pontlevoy, a small town a few hours outside of Paris living in a 1000 year old Abby, drinking fine wine, learning and listening to legendary French singers Jacques Dutronc and Serge Gainsbourg, as well as inducted French Enlgish singer Jane Birkin. A full year has passed but the spirit encapsulated in me by French music carries on. For today we bring you music from French singer Juliette Jules and her debut EP Black Crow.
Juliette Jules, only sixteen, has a soft powerful voice with grand tonality and range control which has been compared to the likes of Lana Del Ray, Jewel and Agnes Obel. When music producer and manager Peter Karroll heard her voice in a park in Paris in June of 2013, he was startled when he turned around to discover the young girl who was producing it. As he recounts, “I was in a conversation with my wife and neighbors while dozens of children played on a playground, from behind us we heard a voice, it was as if the park was instantly converted to a grand concert hall.” “The park became quiet and we all turned and there was Juliette Jules. Her back to us playing the acoustic and singing in the purest voice imaginable. She was singing songs to a friend who sat facing her smiling. Juliette would end each song and they would laugh and talk. It was an incredible moment to experience.”
This is the type of experience you can expect from her debut EP Black Crow. It consists of five songs, four original and one by the talented Leonard Cohen. Each song inherently has a slower tempo, which allows for the powerful voice of Juliette to shine through in an almost minimalistic way. The lyrics are keen, the layered harmonies pleasant and emotions accessible – even though she’s only sixteen her sensibilities are relatable to all. Not to mention she is also a talented multi instrumentalist playing guitar, piano, and synths.
Perhaps where this EP fails if at all is the lack of French musical influence in her music. In this EP we do not get to enjoy Juliette singing in French or giving a nod in any way to her French musical predecessors. Maybe one day we will, but for now she states, “I have always felt the pull of the underground sounds, the purity of the lyrics & the emotion of the songs. I can imagine living in that era and would have loved to experience these bands when they were first creating the punk scene in the clubs of London and New York.” She has a ways to go before she nears the success of her idols such as Patti Smith, but she also has a while to get there.
Her spirit is grand, her knowledge vast, and her talents – at the age sixteen — above par. It’ll be exciting to see where life takes Juliette Jules and we can only hope she continues to grace us with her music. Stream her EP Black Crow in full on Soundcloud.
For more information please visit Juliette Jules’ official website: http://www.juliettejules.com/#welcome
For social media please visit: https://www.facebook.com/juliettejulesmusic