Forest - download song
Soul Love - download song
Bitch - download song
Queenshead - download song
French songstress Julie Meckler's story plays out like a feature film. Leaving behind a life as a theater actress in her native Paris, Meckler immigrated to the US in early 2008 and bought her first guitar in New York City. The music began there, as did her journey across a country she'd never seen. After visits to Buffalo, Detroit, Portland and Vancouver, she settled in Chicago just as her visa expired, opting to stay despite fears of either deportation or never seeing her home country again. Over four years of honing her craft onstage - from gallery lofts to songwriter circles to packed, sold-out bills at the Hideout, Schuba's and Empty Bottle - she has earned a loyal audience with a longtime expanding and contracting cast of Chicago veterans that at the core includes bassist Brett Bakshis (Belleisle), guitarist Will Phalen, trumpeter James Davis (Beveled, Zing!), and drummer/percussionist Shawn Rios (Stolen Silver, Cracklin Moth).
Touted by the Chicago Tribune as one of "15 Chicago Artists to Watch" alongside Disappears and The Smith Westerns, Meckler and band have released Queenshead, the culmination of their work at Steve Albini's Electrical Audio with producer/multi-instrumentalist Will Phalen (The Stereo Addicts, Crow Moses). The 13-track statement, her follow-up to the well-received debut EP 9:30, offers us a diverse collection of songs narrated by Meckler's unique voice, vulnerable storytelling and focused climactic intensity. Her youthful curiosity and playful dance into the unknown are matched with a wary wisdom gained only from risks taken and lessons learned along the way. With a sophisticated chameleon-like approach that touches on Reggae, mariachi, blues, orchestral pop and post-punk in the mix, standout tracks include the smooth-to-pulsating guitar rocker "Forest," the despairing yet thorny dub cut "Bitch" and the danceable, Graceland-inspired title track. And while the album hooks listeners with potent genre-spanning singles, it's a record created to be absorbed in its entirety. Each piece is a vital element of the story, yet mystery and unanswered questions prevail; every song portrays a different character, unpredictable and sensitive yet blunt in its nature.
Now married to bandmate/composer Davis, she recently made her long-awaited return to France, performing for those able to keep up with her career through the lens of overseas attention. Such attention, both internationally and here, has been very kind upon the release of Queenshead, with the record being a blog favorite while garnering radio praise from NPR outlet WBEZ, 93XRT, WLUW, Vocalo and even CHIRP Radio's Best Of 2013 List. As the band begins writing new music, 2014 looks to be an even busier year with video releases for both "Soul Love" and "Forest," dates in the midwest, south and east coast, where Meckler will return to New York for the first time since her arrival to America. It won't take long for audiences everywhere to have their chance to see Julie Meckler and her band on the road, performing with the same intimacy that can be achieved through a pair of headphones and a record player. Her movie is our soundtrack.
"Julie Meckler's voice is soft and pleasant, and it floats over her acoustic guitar with the familiar, idyllic buoyancy of a rowboat. Left in the wake of her playing are strains of precious and patient melodies, alternating throughout her debut long-player Queenshead." - New City
"The thing that will make you remember Meckler's music is her warm, delicate voice, which is rivaled by few when it comes to elegance and beauty." - Pop'stache
"[Queenshead] effortlessly rolls between styles to give a rich variety of moods. Upbeat melodies shift into head-banging rock, cool jazz leads to a heartbreaking ballad. And that's only in the first three songs." - Local Chicago
"This Parisian transplant pens moody tunes that rival epic mood swings. Witness "Deportation Blues," which opens in muted tones before the guitars and Meckler begin snarling at one another at its staggering climax." - Metromix
"Julie Meckler is the kind of artist almost unknown but deserves the spotlight. This small, creative flame- elusive, subtle, uninhibited... here, it burns brightly." - Nouvelle Vague, France
"Julie Meckler rocks like a French PJ Harvey, feminine and dominant." - Goth Traveler
"There's an earnestness and urgency in her songs that draws me in... it's as if her music provides a mini vacation for me; I am focused and relaxed, and sad when her songs are over." - Coach House Sounds
For more information, interviews, inquiries:
juliemecklermusic at gmail dot com
August Forte, Novo Publicity