Album Review Julien Chang - Jules

Julien Chang - Jules

Full marks for exploration, but in this case the simplest tricks work the best.

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Classically trained and supposedly influenced by an eye-opening period of his musical education in which he was simultaneously exposed to “Pink Floyd, Tchaikovsky and Gregorian chants”, the debut from Baltimore teen Julien Chang is every bit the magpie-like, slightly precocious entity that you’d expect from a young artist whose tried everything all at once and found that actually, he’s pretty good at most of it. Largely, however, ‘Jules’ is split into two rough categories. There’s the funk-tinged numbers (the Neon Indian-esque ‘Of The Past’, or the more UMO-recalling space-psych of ‘Moving Parts’) where his jazz background comes to the fore. These are good. When Julien is much, much more than good, however, is when he strips things back to their most spine-tingling. The gorgeous ‘Butterflies From Monaco’ is like an angelic chorus doing early Grizzly Bear, early single ‘Deep Green’ may crash into action but it does so subtly and with nuance, while ‘Two Voices’ is so intimate you’ll want to cradle it and keep it all for yourself. Full marks for exploration, but in this case the simplest tricks work the best.

Moving On Up: Willie J Healey

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