Written By: Aaron Snyder
It’s really great to hear queer women singing about queer women, especially in pop/indie music culture. At times, indie rock/folk feels dominated by queer men. Julia Weldon provides a nice breath of fresh air in this album, “The Light is a Ghost,”2013. In the album, Julia finds a comfortable balance between indy-pop and some folky vibes, toned back songs that help keep the album original. The themes vibrate back and forth between love and loss, contemplating life and death, which makes sense as this album was created after Julia came out of a coma after an infection caused by a surgery. The intensity is reflected in the album.
The album goes through a lot of different phases. The songs themselves range from real folky (think the Be Good Tanyas) to almost John Mayer-esque pop. I feel like the album itself doesn’t feel very chaotic for all of the style switching that it does. I can really appreciate an album that has a variety of music on it and aims to speak into a diverse crowd. I really dig the slowed down songs on this album like “Icarus” and “You Never Know”. There’s something really personal sounding and intimate about them. You never know is a great song about finding love? Money? Something? Intentionally vague I guess.
Something I also really appreciate about this album, unlike some other queer artists, it seems to really shy away from over-used tropes and metaphors. There’s not talk about how mom or dad hates me on this album, or how friends beat me up, as you find with a lot of other queer artists. There is a good amount of talking about falling in and out of love, which I approve of, A+. One of my favorite snippets from the song “All I Gave Her” is “I’m done with this numbness/I’m not who I used to be… She loves me so much/but she’s gonna hate me when I leave”. So good. The song itself bounces around, almost like a song out of Tegan and Sara’s new album. Are they working together? Probably not. But you never know, and if it turns out to be true, you heard it here first.
Oh man, all the yes to the song “Marian”. It’s done in that country style (again, a nod to the variety of music that’s kind of all over the board here, but in a really good way). I really love the bluegrass vibe and the talk about getting home. The song right after, while not as heavy as the last song, really captures this bluegrass-y/country vibe.
All in all I’d strongly suggest giving this album a listen to. Its folk/alt pop sound is really nice, if not done before, but in a new and refreshingly queer way.