You know, I came across Julian Velard very late in the game; in fact, it was only through a passing comment a few months ago by Alex Dezen of The Damnwells that I learned of his name. Of course, anyone who knows of my love for all things Damnwells-related wouldn’t be surprised to know that I headed straight over to Julian’s site, to see what the fuss was all about.
I certainly wasn’t disappointed.
Julian Velard has one of the most enticing voices I’ve ever heard, with a sound that is difficult to pigeonhole. Not only is there a jazz slant (Velard trained as a jazz pianist under Kirk Lightsey), there is also a strong pop-rock feel there. The more tracks you listen to of Julian Velard’s, in fact, the more you begin to think that this guy could do… well, pretty much anything he wanted to, really.
“Believe in the little demons
’cause I know they believe in you”.
– Julian Velard, “Little Demons”
Velard, like Alex Dezen, a New York boy, seems to draw much inspiration from Americana when it comes to his lyrics.Nowhere is this more apparent than in the track below, “Jimmy Dean and Steve McQueen“. Once you get past the desperately cheesy Grease-like screeching tyre opening, you’re left with one of the catchiest, most upbeat songs about mourning the way things have turned out that I’ve ever heard.
The second track, “A Dream“, breaks me everytime I hear it. Who else can honestly say they haven’t had a dream like that?
Last night I had a dream I was dead
Somebody shot an arrow through my head
They were aiming at the apple
But I guess that they missed
Couldn’t help be reminded
Of the first time we kissed
– Julian Velard, “A Dream”
Listen. Love. Support.
While Julian’s certainly been around more than a while, I think 2008 might just be his year, as he’s finally been picked up by a major label, EMI (the UK branch, of all places). Add this one to your “Artist to watch for in 2008”.