Since her simultaneous debut/breakthrough alongside James Holden on the long ascribed classic “Nothing”, Julie Thompson has never been far from the minds & hearts of electronic music’s most discerning. She’s been the voice/front-woman on hits from a wide range of producers, Tiësto, The Freemasons, Sean Tyas and the Freestylers to name but a few. Through tracks like “My Enemy”, “No Frontiers” and “Let Go” she’s also notably become the vocal-muse/go-to-girl for Finnish high-fliers Super8 & Tab. Bringing her gifted lyricism and soul-sear vocals to the broadest possible spectrum of electronic dance music, Julie’s catalogue has come to encompass house, trance, progressive, dubstep, breakbeat, electro and many nexuses in between.
Now, five years after she first made the jump with the ‘Feeling For Corners’ album, Julie is once again crossing the threshold to assume the solo artist role.
Over 11 sensational tracks, written and recorded over the last 20 months, the British singer has crafted the follow-up that fans from across the electronic music lands have long sought. ‘Eye Of The Storm’ has all the expressive introspection, from-the-soul vocals, story-tell lyrics and absorbing metaphor of a singer without contemporary, all approached with her no-stylistic-borders methodology.
More through nature than design, Julie’s debut album is one that’ll spark the broadest range of emotions… Uplifting, touching and meditative, it is also by turns creative, organic and at times bold, to the point of audacious. On completing the album, she said: “A friend once said to me ‘when you hit rock bottom there’s only sand beneath your feet’ and it was from this place that I began to write the songs that would eventually become ‘Eye Of The Storm’. This album represents transition. How light is born from darkness, how love is born from loss and how stillness comes from the most chaotic of places. I hope you enjoy this album!”
The vocally sanguine overture of “New Day”, the floor-engagement of Super8 & Tab collab “Your Secret’s Safe” and “We Are Stars” unchecked uplift collectively summon the Eye’s storm at pace. Expanding its style, “Fortune Smiles” conveys atmospherically bleached out synths and speedily paced, running riffs, which are smartly played off against Julie’s lyrical infiltration. “My Paradise” meanwhile brings EDM dimensions to the album, while “Loved” front-ends with bleepy echo-ism, pays off with a rippingly riffed leadline and is bound together by her vocal optimism.
With stylistic contrast, the album transcends again with the bliss-fest of “Dive” and the slo-mo breaks and chanteuse-ian lament of “Freeze”. At the midpoint, alongside London-based twosome Pyramid, Julie brings downtempo dubstep, breakbeat & electro aspects to the album, delivering both its titular and tangible eye of the storm.
Grafting ever more layers, deeper, more trance-progressive textures come virtue of “Natural” with Ad Brown, while the bittersweet Andy Duguid-produced “Skin & Bones” induces a cooler edged anthemia.
As polished as it is accomplished, admirably far-reaching and allowing her incredible songwriting abilities and extraordinary vocal range full reign, ‘Eye Of The Storm’ delivers on the first great electronic music artist album of 2015.
01 – New Day
02 – We Are Stars
03 – Your Secret’s Safe (with Super8 & Tab)
04 – Dive
05 – Natural (with Ad Brown)
06 – Fortune Smile
07 – Eye Of The Storm (with Pyramid)
08 – My Paradise (with Zachary Zamarripa)
09 – Skin & Bones (with Andy Duguid)
10 – Freeze
11 – Loved (with Dragon & Jontron)