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Julie & The Wolf — Ablaze (October 30, 2015)

Julie & The Wolf — Ablaze (October 30, 2015)

             Julie & The Wolf — Ablaze (October 30, 2015)Julie & The Wolf — Ablaze (October 30, 2015)•   Julie & the Wolf present Ablaze, a somber, minimal examination of emotional devastation that compacts sixteen tracks into 43 minutes. The debut album showcases Merzbacher’s robust yet emotive vocals atop Julie’s solemn, fragile pianos and bleak, heart–wrenching strings. It fuses Merzbacher’s metal background with Julie’s classical training to achieve a sound previously unheard in modern music. Merzbacher’s often contemplative and broken vocals recall heart–on–sleeve balladry, but he’s also unafraid to apply the gripping shout of his metal days and bark his devastation with full emotional candor. While Merzbacher lays his barest feelings front–and–center, Julie’s unsettling piano melodies ground his weight in a more accessible soundscape, resulting in the most universally enjoyable and sonically novel work either musician has committed to record.
Location: Montréal, Québec, Canada
Album release: October 30, 2015
Record Label: Audiogram
Genre: Alternative, Dream pop, Piano, Instrumental
Duration:     42:02
Tracks:
01. The Devil Is the Man      2:56
02. Drama      1:36
03. On My Own      3:37
04. Reminiscent      1:06
05. Father      2:49
06. Red Snow      4:21
07. Ghost Run      4:25
08. Fiends      0:23
09. Tell Me      3:58
10. Devouring      3:27
11. Contrition      2:21
12. Alien Burial Ground      2:41
13. The Winners’ Dance      4:09
14. Spiteful      0:27
15. Mute Fiends      1:06
16. Like Fish      2:54
℗ 2015 Les disques Audiogramme inc.
Personnel:
•   Wolf Merzbacher — Vocals
•   Julie — Grand Piano
•   Produced by Julie & The Wolf and Michel Bélanger 
•   Executive producer: Michel Bélanger
•   Vocals recorded, produced and mixed by Shaun Lopez
•   Nine Inch Nails’s Ghost EP, put through a filter of bands like Anathema and the mellower moments of ISIS and you begin to understand the framework of Julie And The Wolf’s mindset. Julie’s hypnotic, vulnerable piano lays the foundation for vocalist Wolf Merzbacher’s heart breaking vocals and lyrics. The meshing of the two talents is breathtaking.
•   Although Julie & the Wolf are a brand new entity in the music world, its two members have impressed listeners regularly in the past. Lyricist and vocalist Wolf Merzbacher fronts the Montreal metal band Ileana, and Julie contributed her classical piano virtuosity to the score for Academy Award–winning short film The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life. The duo’s debut album Ablaze fuses Merzbacher’s metal background with Julie’s classical training to achieve a sound previously unheard in modern music. Merzbacher’s often contemplative and broken vocals recall heart–on–sleeve balladry, but he’s also unafraid to apply the gripping shout of his metal days and bark his devastation with full emotional candor. While Merzbacher lays his barest feelings front–and–center, Julie’s unsettling piano melodies ground his weight in a more accessible soundscape, resulting in the most universally enjoyable and sonically novel work either musician has committed to record.
Review
Michael Panontin
•   Julie and the Wolf are just the latest in a long line of leftfield recordings from the infinitely fertile fields of Montreal. The pair of pianist Julie and singer Wolf Merzbacher are about as incongruous as a duo can get, with the big bad Wolf having cut his teeth in the headbanging world of metal and the more diminutive, classically trained Julie having recently scored the Academy Award–winning short film The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life. “[Our sound] is Julie’s classical roots blended to my metal heritage,” Merzbacher explained to the National Rock Review. “Julie comes up with all the music. Then I get the lyrics and vocal melodies down and then we meet up and blend it all together.”
•   Ablaze, their debut disc on the long–running Quebec indie Audiogram, is a beguiling mix of brooding impressionism a la Satie or Debussy and silky, heartfelt vocals. There is a decidedly Gallic bent to these songs, especially Julie’s wistful piano compositions, which sort of evoke the sombre, autumnal France that Henri Cartier–Bresson’s photographs captured so powerfully all those years ago. This is especially true on brief instrumental interludes like the melancholic ‘Reminiscent’ and the equally forlorn ‘Drama’. When Merzbacher enters the equation, the effects are equally arresting. His phrasing is for the most part highly theatrical, as much enunciated as sung, a trait he no doubt honed in his earlier metal days. The single, ‘The Devil is the Man’, is a fine example of this, with its pained chorus of “The devil is the man beside / the devil is the man inside”. And, though the record is entirely in English, it all still manages to capture the alternating beauty and dread of la malaise.
•   http://www.canuckistanmusic.com/
Website: http://julieandthewolf.com/ablaze/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/julieandthewolf
PR | MARAUDER
212-993-1569 | max@maraudergroup.com
PUBLISHING | EDITORIAL AVENUE
•   g.lafrance@editorialavenue.com
LABEL | AUDIOGRAM
•   communication@audiogram.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Julie-The-Wolf-835423859890283/
Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/136650444
Label: http://info.audiogram.com/julie-and-the-wolf-ablaze/
•   Le duo montréalais Julie & The Wolf présente Ablaze, à paraitre le 30 octobre sur étiquette Audiogram. Un premier album d’une qualité rare, auquel ont participé Michel Bélanger à la réalisation, Tom Baker au mastering (Nine Inch Nails, David Lynch, Juliette Lewis) ainsi que Shaun Lopez (Far, Deftones, Crosses) à la production sonore, au mix et à l’enregistrement vocal. Il en résulte une collection de seize titres sombres et minimalistes, un véritable traité d’émotions dévastatrices entrelacé d’éclats de lumière.
•   Bien que Julie & The Wolf soit une toute nouvelle entité, ses deux membres œuvrent depuis longtemps dans la scène musicale. Le parolier et chanteur Wolf Merzbacher est le leader du groupe métal montréalais Ileana, et la pianiste virtuose Julie a notamment contribué à la musique du court–métrage oscarisé The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life. Ablaze, leur premier album en tant que duo, fusionne l’univers métal de Merzbacher avec la formation classique de Julie pour proposer un son jusqu’à présent inexploré. La voix souvent contemplative et cassée de Merzbacher rappelle parfois une ballade à fleur de peau, tandis qu’à d’autres moments elle s’élève sans peur jusqu’au cri de ses origines métal, hurlant avec une candeur émotive désarmante. Alors que Merzbacher étale ses sentiments au grand jour, les déstabilisantes mélodies de Julie au piano viennent ancrer le tout dans un sol plus accessible, produisant une œuvre étonnante d’une riche et rare créativité.
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Julie & The Wolf — Ablaze (October 30, 2015)

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