Julia McDonald - Gravity (2016)

Written by Mike Yoder, posted by blog admin

Julia McDonald and her debut EP Gravity is already making a splash in the world.  The singer/songwriters music is on its way to MTV, E!, Oxygen, Bet and AE.  Additionally, McDonald and her live band have been appearing at numerous musical festivals throughout the country.  So, what’s behind the buzz about this release?  Well, it’s deserved, so say the least!

Julia has a knack for constructing bright hooks in pop tunes that they themselves are not so bright; yes, there’s a bit of darkness and reality pumping through the veins of this 6 track debut with particular lyrical shots taken at plastic chicks, relationships in limbo and much more.  She handles the gloom with a particularly cheery attitude and varied vocal delivery that gives weight even when the music frolics.  The title track sets the tone, sprinkling piano melody atop a somber acoustic guitar.  Trippy beat-work provides a relaxing pulsation as McDonald’s voice rises into a soaring chorus.  This song leisurely climbs its way into a hook-filled, radio pop rock gem that’s instantly worth a repeat listen.  “Games” ups the tempo with trotting acoustic melodies plied to a surface of shimmering keyboards and Julia’s faster paced vocal abandon.  It takes the infectiousness of the first tune and doubles the layering for an even catchier proposition. 

“Pretty Committee” filters in an electronic, slow dub thump that showcases some soul influence in both the musical arrangements and vocals.  It toys with hip-hop but goes full pop in the chorus for the most enticing dichotomy of sounds heard on the record.  Piano and keyboards are the central focus of “No Good for Me” which also relishes a sunny day, foot-moving electronic vibe that equates to another total chill/trance out piece.  The rock based “Something to Talk About” flirts with rock thanks to driving, programmed percussion and up-tempo acoustic guitars, leaving endnote “Simpler Things” to cast the EP off with Hooverphonic-styled trip-hop flutter. 

Pop and indie music are often devoid of heart n’ soul these days and that’s where Julia McDonald comes in to prove the critics wrong.  These silky romps will get in your head and stay there for days.  She’s already an accomplished songwriter and with a little more fine-tuning and oomph to the programming, there is little doubt that her next record will be an even bigger smash hit.  Gravity is a fine piece of work from a singer/songwriter to watch.