Say Psych: Album Review: Juleah – Desert Skies

Juleah is the musical project of Austrian songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Julia Hummer. Having adopted the name in 2011 when she began posting covers online, Juleah has quickly progressed into something much more than a solo cover project.

Following the self-release of Juleah’s self-titled EP on SoundCloud in 2012, she released her debut album, Shimmering Road, in 2013. This was followed by a second EP Entangled And Entwined in 2013 and second LP Melt Inside The Sun was released in 2015. Proving Juleah‘s exciting trajectory, both Melt Inside The Sun and Entangled And Entwined were picked up and released on vinyl by Austrian record label Konkord in 2015 and 2016 respectively.

In 2016, Juleah evolved yet again, this time delighting fans by becoming a captivating and truly arresting live band. Since then, Juleah has been playing a string of shows through Austria, Switzerland and Italy. Juleah has found their trademark sound in sweet but sultry vocals and the depths of reverb-soaked guitars. While remaining steeped in omnipresent psych leanings, Juleah has delicately perfected the art of genre reinvention, taking heed of everything from the snarl of southern guitar riffs to the shimmer of surf rock. Having cultivated a continuously-growing worldwide fanbase, Juleah has garnered attention from across the English- and German-speaking music world with impressive reviews being published in the NME, The Revue, Fourculture, Musikexpress, Britpop News, Indie and many more.

Currently focusing on their live lineup featuring Henry Galehr on guitar, Alexander Walser on drums and Sandro Marton on bass, Juleah has just released third LP Desert Skies.

‘Skies’ is a great track to start the album, with a washed out, beach day vibe that hits the spot and would be perfect to while away some time taking in the view. Her vocal style is reminiscent of Tess Parks and fans will enjoy this. ‘Strawberry Shake’ is a pacer track from the offset with thought provoking lyrics that create strong imagery. ‘Analogue’ offers up a removed sound with the guitar dominating with its penetrating riff and ‘Kahlua’ offers up an edge, with a tinge of organ changing the overall sound. ‘Catch 22’ is eerily reminiscent of The Brian Jonestown Massacre in parts and its clear they are an influence on the band. ‘Black Vanilla’ offers up a bluesy blend of Black Rebel Motorcycle esq. sounds with smatterings of suave vocals layered over the top and ‘Red Moon’ continues this theme making the positioning of these tracks back to back perfect. ‘Closer’ and ‘Darkness’ are a bit funkier than their predecessors with a strong bass groove and concluding ‘The Garden’ is the perfect summarisation of all that has gone before, returning to beachscapes.

There is a lot to get your teeth into with this album and it’s no wonder Juleah is carving a name for herself across Europe. With a sound like this, what’s not to like?

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