In The Silence Electric is the latest LP from Italy’s Julie’s Haircut, recently released on Rocket Recordings. The band with a quarter of a century history are notable for their deft balance between hypnotic radiance and otherworldly intensity. The artwork comes from German avant-garde feminist Annegret Soltau and its striking aura works perfectly alongside the transcendent album.
When talking about the record and the evocative artwork, Luca states that “even when we write about very dreamlike situations, or metaphors, we always address very real, concrete aspects and problems of our life. There is a lot of the classic dualism between sex and death on this record. Sometimes it’s more dark and gritty, sometimes it’s more elevating.” He further add that “there’s a theme springing from the title of the record and the photos of Annegret Soltau that deliver some sense of helplessness, suffocation, difficulty in communication”.
Opening with ‘Anticipation of the Night’ which proves evocative from the offset with its twinkle opening and swooning vocal style. The juxtaposition of competing styles is something they have learnt to pull off to perfection. Moving to ‘Emerald Kiss’ we have more of their traditional psych noise with reverberating layers that dance playfully around the edges. The motorik beat and pulsating bass line add an air of menace to keep things nice and dark. ‘Until the Lights Go Out’ continues with this intense air but adds a pacey countenance to the mix, creating an all together intoxicating effect that takes the breathe away. ‘Lord Help Me Find a Way’ is so different you’d be forgiven for thinking your Spotify had shuffled on to another band, but in by being so it provides a welcome reprieve from the intensity as well as showcasing the talent of the band.
The break doesn’t last long however as ‘Sorcerer’ ramps up the tempo once more and as the track progresses it shifts focus, allowing all musical elements of the track take centre stage. ‘Darlings of the Sun’ channels Eastern influences, with the saxophone evoking Arabian nights. It’s a hypnotic number which sums up perfectly what they are all about in every sense. ‘In Return’ once more keeps listeners on their toes and is a real step into the avant-garde before ‘Pharaoh’s Dream’, possibly the strongest track on the record, takes everything that has gone before, intensifies it all and makes it anew. Concluding ‘For the Seven Lakes’ is an apt way to end, bringing the tempo down with hushed lyrics and soothing soundscapes.
Julie’ Haircut are known for their experimentation with sound and that has brought them to ever increasing public attention. With In The Silence Electric they have once again pushed the boundaries of convention and in so doing made something strikingly beautiful and all of their own.