Julius Black - New Music


Julius Black today unveils ‘Wings’, his first new release of 2023. The track follows last year’s ‘Together We Go Down In The Dark’ EP and his 2021 debut ‘Dopamine’, which resulted in airplay from triple j, a spread of international playlists at Spotify, and critical acclaim which included positive comparisons with Rex Orange County, Frank Ocean and The Beach Boys.

At first, Julius’s sparse folk-pop production and sleek falsetto suggests that ‘Wings’ is a beautiful but direct love song with an almost hymnal quality. Yet gradually it exposes stranger, intriguing qualities which take it in a very different direction: unsettling sonic touches that lurk deep in the mix, and lyrics which hint at an unhealthy obsession. After a wall-of-sound of celestial, slightly pitch-shifted vocal harmonies bring the song to its conclusion, it ultimately feels like an alternate closing theme song to Spike Jonze’s cult classic film ‘Her’.

Julius says, “I wrote ‘Wings’ in a three-month lockdown in Shanghai. The song is inspired by the movie ‘Her’ in a way, which tells the story of a man who falls in love with his new AI companion. During my lockdowns the only communication I could have with the outside world was through my phone. It was the portal to emotional stability so I essentially wrote a codependent love letter to my phone.

I spent a bunch of time in China writing and just developing my sound. I was very inspired by Leonard Cohen, Radiohead, Elliott Smith and Jeff Buckley when I was writing ‘Wings’. I wanted the writing to feel very romantic but I wanted elements of the production to feel very android.”

Julius wrote ‘Wings’ with the track’s producer Struan Finlay and Terrance O’Connor (aka Blue Nude).

A 22-year-old New Zealander with Chinese family heritage, Julius Black’s leftfield bedroom pop is a contemporary sound born from classic roots. A lifelong fan of The Beatles and also inspired by The Beach Boys and David Bowie, Julius’s tastes soon stretched into everything from gospel to hip-hop and punk. He studied classical music before focusing on his own artist career, and you can hear traces of that background in songs which at times echo current artists such as Moses Sumney, Sufjan Stevens and James Blake. As with ‘Wings’, film has also been a key inspiration for Julius, especially with films from visionary directors such as Martin Scorsese, Steven Soderbergh and Todd Phillips.

Expect to hear more songs from Julius’s Shanghai sessions soon.

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