Music Interview: Julie Elody – All Or Nothing, Or Brave Enough To Be Still
September 7, 2020
By BRUCE DENNILL
American singer-songwriter Julie Elody released her single All Or Nothing in May this year, and recently released a video to support the song.
“Influence” is a loaded, often misunderstood concept. An artist may sound similar to another but have no knowledge of them, or be a super-fan of someone whose output is completely different to their own. Who or what was the artist, album, song, era or scene that initially mapped out the road to you becoming a musician?
I was definitely an angsty Nineties kid. Green Day, Good Charlotte, Mayday Parade – I think that “emo/grunge” scene really defined my relationship with music. Even though later in life I gravitated towards pop-sounding music, I think the lyrics I’ve stuck with are inspired by the more sad or deep songs of those artists.
Name one song you wish you’d written. What makes that song so important?
Somewhere between being in my funk-rock band and discovering my current sound, I heard the song Gasoline by Halsey. This song is what inspired me to start writing pop music with deeper, darker lyrics. My first single, Sirens, definitely has a similar vibe. Gasoline still gives me chills. If I had to pick a song I wish I had written it’s that one.
Which aspects of your music do you prioritise? For you, would you rather have that your lyrics, your melodies, or your vocals or instrumental work are the are the most memorable parts of your songs?
I’ve been writing lyrics for much longer than I’ve been writing melodies. At one point, I was just writing poems. I think the words will always be the most important part to me. There’s something so powerful about sending a message this way. I could talk at you for hours and you still might not really understand what I’m trying to say, or maybe you wouldn’t even want to listen. But put that concept in some carefully crafted verses and a catchy hook, and people spend hours trying to figure out your message, and sing along. There’s nothing better than connecting with an audience in this way.
What’s your favourite piece of gear?
I friggen love my Neumann TLM 102 microphone. Everyone who I send vocals to just can’t understand how I get such clean, crisp takes of my vocals. I’m not someone who knows a lot of mixing tricks, but I certainly have found a mic that really compliments my voice and I think I wouldn’t have been able to work with such renowned producers if I hadn’t produced such great vocal takes with it.
What is the story behind All Or Nothing – the genesis of the song, the people involved, the muse behind its creation?
I wrote All Or Nothing just before the pandemic. I found myself in a situation that I do frequently, which is over-extending myself and keeping myself busy to avoid my anxiety. Sometimes sitting still or having a night off is just so hard for me because I sit there and think, “I don’t deserve this; I need to work harder than everyone else. Think of all the productive things you could be doing right now.” It’s exhausting. I started working with my friend Erik Bardarles, an amazing producer, and he had this amazing Eighties beat that fit my lyrics super-well. So we just started churning it out. It turns out, I think, that this All Or Nothing concept really resonates with people right now, which is why I wanted to release the video. I think the video shines a light on the song’s meaning.