Los Angeles alternative and progressive rock band, Papa Juliett, is Juliet (Vocals), Sui Gn (Guitar) and Julian (Guitar). The trio has just dropped a two-song EP containing the tracks, “How I Feel” and “I Can See”. Through all the years of reviewing I have developed quite eclectic interests in music.
But I have a basic test I apply when quickly assessing music on the first listen, these key points are obviously taken into account well before I even consider the technical aspects: the music has to be interesting, it has to hold my attention, it has to be emotional, and to deserve my highest praise it has to create a pure visceral response.
I listened to Papa Juliett on Soundcloud and could not interrupt it. It aced the test. It is spectacular through good speakers or head phones. The songs demonstrate a maturity, and a willingness to expand their sound into lushly orchestrated arrangements; yet it remains distinctly organic sounding and very melodic.
The impact of Papa Juliett’s sound deepens with subsequent listening, but you will love it instantly. These songs however, do benefit from your fullest attention and will reward you with a deep emotional attachment to the music.
Papa Juliett will quickly build an impressive and inspiring resume with the type of music they forge on these two tracks. Sit back in a quiet place and let them take you on a romantic journey of discovery and elation. You’ll be entranced by Juliet’s stargazing voice, as she sings: “How I feel is because of me / How I feel is all because of me.” Sui Gn and Julian supply expansive, jangly guitars which blend in with the crunchier riffs, while the mesmerizing formula is completed on “How I Feel”, by the solid drumming of Miah Palmer, sustained by Aaron Williams on bass.
It gets even more complex and dynamic on “I Can See” – “I can see the lights fading away / I can see my mind playing its games / and I will ask you why / and you will tell me why”. The song builds, then holds back, slowly falling off, and then rebuilds again – almost in a cyclic manner like the waves of an ocean, ebbing and flowing.
In fact, Papa Juliett’s music can be likened to the ocean in many ways. It is pure, beautiful, and profound. Then all at once its soundscapes become devastingly powerful and overwhelmingly ominous. Throughout however, it’s Juliet’s ethereal voice that maintains a sense of airy delicacy, contrasting the puissant sway of the music in its most exuberant moments.
Good music grabs your attention right off the bat; great music holds it right until the end. It does not linger around but grows with every listen and teases you with new and exciting nuances, in exactly the same way “How I Feel” and “I Can See” does.
These songs are a testament to how Papa Juliett can capture your attention with melodies and sounds that are familiar to the ear, while still exploring an expanding musical landscape that distinguishes them from anything else in rock.