Julia Autumn Ford (Self -Titled)

Julia Autumn Ford (Self -Titled)

Record review
Julia Autumn Ford (Self -Titled)
Review written by Seth Adam
10.2.2014

Julia Autumn Ford

Julia Autumn Ford

Winsted CT singer-songwriter, Julia Autumn Ford, offers a strong first effort on her self-titled debut EP. The young artist has a lifetime of promise in front of her if this initial release is any indication.

 

Julia Autumn Ford opens her EP with a bittersweet number called ‘Don’t Give Up On Me,’ a plea from the dark to the light and a song of gratitude. “I remember when on my darkest day, when I could barely see, you were there for me,” sings a thankful Ford. The elegantly simple acoustic guitar, subtle percussion, a bass line that so gently holds the bottom end, and eventual drums, are played in a tasty pop-folk manner. Her earnest appreciation of the person in the mirror rings true as she sums up the chorus: “You were there for me.” And who could not relate? Have we not all been our own hero at some point, at times lifting yourself up? “Life goes on” are the summarizing words of a beautifully written bridge. Indeed, life does.

 

The playful ‘Goodbye’ is reminiscent of a 60’s number with its chord structure, albeit far faster in tempo. The rhythm section is again brilliantly played, truly sensitive to Ford’s voice, which in itself is sensitive, playful, and humble. Her honesty shimmers through in the chorus lyric, “The hardest step is goodbye.” This is all too true when trying to get out of a relationship, an addiction, a temptation. “My head is screaming no, while my heart’s beating yes,” exclaims Ford, navigating the passion and difficulty of letting go. Sometimes saying goodbye is one, big, playful game, and Ford clearly describes it that way.

 

‘Diamonds in the Rough’ is a turn from the playfulness of the previous track, and far more intimate. Beginning with a gentle guitar and a light, brightly keyed melody, her vocal delivery is still signature Ford: gentle yet spirited. There is so much innocence in her appeal to another, “Open your eyes a little wider, open your mind a little broader, open your heart to see the beauty…” The bridge is in stark contrast to the verses, picking up in a quick Beatles-esque fashion, replete with lush vocal harmonies. Ford has a knack for turning ordinary words into colorful strokes of art – human, broken, form, shape, tear, hello, frown, night, sunrise – all re-born with a new hue.

 

The fourth track, ‘It’s Not Me It’s You’ embraces a more modern pop sound with its electronic percussion defining the intro. The direct snark of the statement of “It’s Not Me It’s You” is perfectly complimented by the indirect, yet omnipresent distorted electric guitar. “Although it breaks my heart, there’s no one to blame but you” is such point-blank truth, candidly defining whose fault it is.

 

The closing song, ‘Survive,’ is a beautiful piano-based piece, complimenting Ford’s honest voice. As with the closing of a relationship, there is a stark realization that not everything lasts, not everything survives. Ford spills truth in the lyric, “Blindfolded I tell you that I love you / when I take it off it’s clear to me / I’m not and never was your one and only…” There is never a painless way to slip out of love, but sincerity keeps it honest, slightly diminishing the blow. When she sings “We just have to realize we’re not meant to survive,” I recall the dagger going through my own heart of past breakups. Her gentle vocal delivery makes it marginally less painful, but the sadness is still there. The music in the track is, once again, expertly restrained in order for the vocal to be properly delivered. There is no overplaying.

 

Julia Autumn Ford should have no problem garnering appreciative listeners with this solid batch of songs. They are accessible, yet offer far more depth than modern contemporaries. Her voice is brilliant throughout, offering beautiful, memorable melodies. This is a marvelous debut.

 

http://www.juliaautumnford.com/

https://www.facebook.com/JuliaAutumnMusic

@juliaxautumn

 

Singer/songwriter Seth Adam writes compelling, genuine songs with honest lyrics. The alt-country, rootsy rocker draws comparisons to Counting Crows, Tom Petty, and Son Volt.

His latest studio release, “Steel Tempered Pride”, delves further into folk, Americana, alt-country, and psychedelic explorations than previous efforts.

Not one to rely on trends of popular music, this self-described “scrapper” takes a page out of the Lucinda Williams instruction book by performing frequently and writing deeply personal, heartfelt rock & roll songs. He has shared the stage with Grammy-winning Steep Canyon Rangers, Grammy-winning Robert Cray, Tonic, Vertical Horizon, Carbon Leaf, The Alternate Routes, Will Hoge, Gary Louris (The Jayhawks), Ken and Drew from Sister Hazel, Grammy-nominated YARN, and Mayer Hawthorne, has had a song licensed to Volkswagen, and was described by entertainment columnist Roger Friedman as “the hardest-working best live act in indie rock.”

His latest record, “Steel Tempered Pride”, was released on September 24, 2013 and features production credits by David Immerglück (Counting Crows, Camper Van Beethoven) on two tracks – ‘Push And Pull’ and ‘Old Broken Ladder’ (Immerglück also played bass on these tunes). The record also features bass performances by The Alternate Routes’ guitarist, Eric Donnelly (‘New York City Bound’, ‘Troubled Times’) and drum performances by “Ramblin’” Rob Heath (Justin Townes Earle, The Madison Square Gardeners) on ‘Old Broken Ladder’ and ‘Push And Pull’. Electric guitars and harmony vocals from Gerry Giaimo, mandolin and harmony vocals from John Jackson, drums from Dennis DeMorro and Steve Tobey round out the rest of the tracks on “Steel Tempered Pride”.

Seth was a finalist – Best Country/Americana category – 3rd Annual CT Music Awards (2014)

http://www.sethadam.com/

https://www.facebook.com/sethadammusic

Twitter: @SethAdam

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