|Julia Nunes – Settle Down (2012)|
Julia Nunes – Settle Down
Location: Rochester, New York, United States
Album release: February 28, 2012
Record Label: Thirty Tigers
¶ 23-year-old Rochester, NY native’s head-turning ascent in the highly competitive world of aspiring singer/songwriters has been dramatic. Julia Nunes‘ witty, self-deprecating, brutally honest and hilarious tunes (and inspired covers) have garnered the ukulele-toting performer 50 million youtube views, a performance on Conan, an EP with fellow tube-sensations Pamplamoose, Lower East Side club dates that sell out with a single tweet and — most importantly — nearly $80,000 in funds from fans to record and market her new album, Settle Down. Beneath the effervescent folk pop melodies, many stripped to demo-style simplicity, lie some pointed, acerbic lyrics that are both personal and sharply observational…Nunes’ throaty alto can move from tender lullaby sweetness to bracing, double-shot belt without missing a beat.
Quote: “I don’t think record sales happen because kids have to buy those records to get the music. They could easily download my music from wherever. But they see my videos, they know what kind of person I am, and I think they like me; that’s why they buy my stuff from me and make it so I can continue doing it.” // What we like: over the course of 18 tracks, we’re taken with the more fleshed-out tracks like the thoughtful “Nothing’s That Great”, a polished gem sporting an impossible-to-resist chorus…”To The Damsels: Run” is as good as you hoped it would be, a kickin’ rhythm tied to a glorious harmony
01. Stay Awake 3:07
02. Odd 1:41
03. Lullaby 2:34
04. Lookout For Yourself 2:05
05. Nothing's That Great 3:26
06. He Is Mad 0:52
07. To The Damsels: Run 3:06
08. Fair Weather 3:09
09. Comatose 3:24
10. Pizza 0:24
11. Maybe I Will 3:27
12. I Will Go Anywhere With You 4:17
13. This Is What I Used To Know 3:55
14. I Wasn't Worried 0:56
15. Balloons 3:51
16. First Impressions 3:32
17. Into The Sunshine 2:55
18. Waiting 3:37 /// Website: http://www.julianunes.com/
I opened for Ben Folds / playing "Gone"
Amazon Editorial Reviews:
¶ Julia Nunes plays ukulele super hard, she sings her face off, and she turns terrible moods into toe tapping sessions. She s most well-known for her videos, which serve as a window into the list of her favorite songs, as well as a platform for her heart wrenchingly honest originals. You will find several layers of voices and instruments in her reinterpretations of 90 s pop songs, breathing new life into those oldies but goodies . In videos she s covered Nat King Cole and N*Sync, to name only a few, and it s impossible to watch just one. Viewers are willingly sucked into an alternate reality, where everything is harmonized and ukulele-ized, and Julia s lyrics and delivery somehow perfectly describe the feeling which no song on the radio can touch.
¶ Nunes has toured England and headlined countless U.S. tours. In November 2011 she went on a two month tour with Ben Kweller. She s also shared the stage with Weezer, Matt & Kim, and Katy Perry. Not to mention she s rocked the stage at the Bonnaroo Music Festival two years in a row.
Her crowd-funded album Settle Down (release date: Feb. 28,2012) will be her fourth album of original material. She broke records on kickstarter.com raising $78,888 and selling over 1,200 copies months before it was even finished being recorded.
¶ Julia Nunes Acoustic Guitar, Percussion, Piano, Ukulele, Vocals, Toy Piano
¶ Rubin Kodheli Cello
¶ Zach McNees Acoustic Guitar, Percussion, Piano, Vocals, Kalimba
¶ Jay Foote Upright Bass
¶ Lucas Carpenter Vocals
¶ Ian Axel Vocals
¶ Rob Heath Percussion, Drums
¶ Clara Kennedy Cello
¶ Chad Vaccarino Vocals
¶ Gregory Williams Viola
¶ Courtney Spiller Vocals
¶ Corey Zorn Vocals
¶ Connor Joyce Vocals
¶ Mike Comite Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Beat Box
¶ Kyle Joyce Vocals
¶ Keats Dieffenbach Violin
¶ Ricardo Gutierrez Mastering
¶ Zach McNees Producer, Engineer, String Arrangements
¶ Ken Berman Direction
¶ Julia Nunes Composer
¶ Frankie Cordero Direction
¶ Dustin Maust Layout
Release Date: 02/28/2012
Label: MORDOMO RECORDS
Catalog No.: 4829002
Sales Rank: 15,552
¶ 22-year-old singer-songwriter Julia Nunes went from obscurity to 48 million views for her YouTube page in a few short years. She takes a hands-on approach to her career, creating her own videos, album art, T-shirts and more. Ben Folds is a fan; he took her out on tour after she posted one of her Ben Folds covers online. We asked Nunes, whose new album Settle Down drops February 28, about her road to success, her approach to songwriting and more.
When did you start writing songs? Were they good right away, or did that come later?
¶ The first song I ever wrote was when I was in a ska band at age 13 and I don’t really count it because it was a group effort and about a Mexican restaurant. Once I was left to my own devices I think my songs improved at least a little. At 14 I wrote a song called “I’m sorry” where the rhyme scheme was A A A A… every single line rhymed with “ite” so, right, might, night, fight, light, etc. I wasn’t awesome, but it was better than “Mexican Restaurant.”
What’s a song on the new album your particularly proud of, and why?
¶ “Stay Awake” is my anthem for all the people who stay up late for absolutely no reason, but during the hours of 1:00am and 5:00am everything they’re doing seems really important. If California Girls and American Idiots get anthems, voluntary insomniacs should too. So I’m especially proud to have written one.
What’s a lyric on the album you’re especially proud of ?
¶ “Nothing’s That Great”: “I thought I had grown, become more mature, but now I am sure that I’m as dumb as I ever was” is my favorite line, it’s not even that hard to narrow it down… is that bad? I just feel like we’re constantly looking back at our previous blunders trying to convince ourselves that we’re smarter now and would never make that mistake again, but most of the time history repeats itself, even if that history was a week ago.
Are there any words you love, or hate?
¶ I hate strings of words for sure. “Put your hands up” is one of them. If one more auto-tuned voice tells me to put my hands up and I’m not a hostage of a Ke$ha bank robbery, I’ll freak out. “Precarious” is a word I love. I’ve never used it in a song, but its time will come.
What’s your typical approach to songwriting? Do you revise a lot, or do you like to write automatically?
¶ Lot’s of times I’m just doing the dishes and by the third plate I’m lost in a melody and blurting out thoughts in rhythm. I usually write songs in one go, no revisions. One of the songs that is on the album, “Fair Weather,” was written while I was reading. I realized when I got to the end of the chapter that I had no idea what I’d just read, but I had a verse and chorus of a song to run and write down.
What’s a song of yours that’s really touched people?
¶ Some times it’s really hard to get through “First Impressions” at shows because I can see the audience and there are people who are clearly feeling what I felt when I wrote it. I think it’s one of the best and worst things about writing from personal experience, you re-live those moments every time you play the song and you can see people re-living their own moments that made them relate to the song in the first place. It’s amazing to share that moment with people, but I’m not a huge fan of crying in front of people.
Who’s an underrated songwriter in your opinion?
¶ All of my friends. I’m lucky enough to be friends with an amazing talent pool. My best friend Lauren O’Connell writes these beautiful, haunting songs, and I first witnessed Greg Holden’s songwriting prowess when we toured England together in 2009. I’m also quite fond of Jack and Nataly of Pomplamoose, Katie Costello, Chad Vaccarino and Ian Axel, all of whom deserve to make Rihanna’s salary.
What do you consider the perfect song (written by someone else)?
¶ “God Only Knows” – Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys.
What advice do you have for those trying to get as many hits as you did via YouTube?
¶ My best advice is to do something new, something you haven’t seen yet. I’ve never really claimed my title as creator of the multi -layered video, but I know I’d never seen one before I did it. Most importantly, make something that you think sounds awesome, or find hilarious or beautiful, because your taste is not so weird that no one likes what you like. There are people who are just like you out there. So if you’re in to it, people like you will be in to it too.
What advice do you have for having a successful KickStarter campaign?
¶ I’ve donated to a couple KickStarter campaigns so I now know it from both sides. The biggest factor for me is specificity. I want to know exactly what I’m getting. Which is why I thought it was necessary to put some snippets of the songs in my video, just to make sure they knew I wasn’t making a punk record or anything. I also think KickStarter should be used less like a fundraiser and more like a bake sale. People shouldn’t feel like they’re “donating.” They should feel like they’re getting something of value in exchange for their hard earned cash… like a cookie.
What compelled you to post your Ben Folds cover online?
¶ Ben Folds is one of my all time favorite musicians and songwriters. I just make videos of songs I can’t get out of my head. A better question would be why haven’t I covered all of Ben Fold’s songs?
How was the experience of meeting and touring with him?
¶ I’ve forgotten the lyrics to one of my own songs twice ever in my life. Once on stage at a small coffee shop in front of like three people and it was gut wrenching. The other time was on stage opening for Ben… gut wrenching doesn’t even describe it. The truth is, those two instances were not very far a part. I went from playing open mics to opening for my absolute favorite artist in the world. To say I was unprepared would be an understatement. I was terrified every night.
¶ About a year after we toured together and I’d come to consider him a mentor of sorts I was thrown on stage with him again at a show in my hometown and it was no less thrilling than the first time.
Original page: http://www.americansongwriter.com/2012/01/julia-nunes/
My "dressing room"
|Julia Nunes – Settle Down (2012)|