As an homage to Julie Elody, please take in the following with a nice glass of wine (or drink of choice) and a bubble bath. You’ll find out why soon enough. Just like you’ll find out why the electro-pop artist feels it’s okay being okay with being a bit broken as she talks about her latest single, “The Lighthouse” and more.
Kendra: What brought about the change in genre for you? Was it a long time coming, or was it just time to start a new chapter in your life?
Julie Elody: My band had reached this point where half the members didn’t want to do music as a serious career. We all wanted different things so it made sense to break up. In the band, I had always co-written songs so I knew when I went solo that I wanted to dive really deep and decide what kind of music I wanted to be making.
Kendra: You can still very much hear your vocal range in your solo music that was ever present when you were part of The Fake Carls. Who was the first person to recognize your musical skills?
Julie: Wow thanks so much! I’ve always been a songwriter but I wasn’t confident in my singing ability until the guitarist of The Fake Carls encouraged me. After a few live shows, people complimented my voice and I simultaneously realized this is what I wanted to do.
Kendra: Back to the present because we have to talk about your latest single “The Lighthouse.” You deliver a wonderful message with this track. That it’s 100% okay to be okay with being a bit broken. Did you realize that when you were creating this song, or long before?
Julie: I wrote this song after I realized that I needed help. I started having panic attacks/trouble breathing but I was ignoring it. Then I was driving in my car and my radio had static on every single channel. I had to sit in silence and confront my thoughts. I wrote the song that night and I sort of needed it as a release of all that energy.
Kendra: With that, do you feel like we should stress over fixing that little part of us that is broken or leave it be and live our lives?
Julie: I think a little of both. The therapist I’ve started seeing says it can be “both and” instead of “either or.” One of my favorite things to do is ignore my anxiety, and distract myself with work. This is a generally unhealthy practice if that is all you do, but doing it a little bit is okay, as long as every once in awhile you take the time for yourself to confront those feelings head-on.
Kendra: You’ve noted that you write with this idea of rebelling against the “frivolous pop lyrics” we hear today. What’s the most annoying/cliche pop lyric you’d like retired?
Julie: My least favorite pop lyrics are when females talk about pleasing a man, (think “Look Good For You” by Selena Gomez) I don’t necessarily think they need to be retired. There’s nothing inherently wrong with the idea of a woman wanting to look good for their man, and that song is super catchy and cool, but it just seems like the industry is overrun with this idea in both male and female fronted songs, and I think it’s good to infuse a bit more meaning into the genre. Similarly, there’s a lot of “party anthems” out there. Again, nothing inherently wrong with having songs to dance and party too but it’s dangerous when that’s all you ever hear on the top 40s station.
Kendra: Women in all realms of pop have had a back and forth when it comes to lyrical content. It seems like Madonna presented an unafraid badass but the women of the late ’90s…it was very bubblegum. Now we’re seeing this emergence of artists like yourself, Lorde and Alessia Cara who are bringing a sense of consciousness to their music. What do you feel inspired women in music to take back the lyrics?
Julie: I think feminism is catching on, the idea that a woman can have meaningful ideas and content, and I think we’re all a bit fed up with the state of the world.
Kendra: Now let’s talk about your love of the bath. How many songs have been written in a bubble bath at this point?
Julie: I’ve never actually written a song in the tub but I’ve done two cover songs, one which I wrote the a cappella arrangement for.
Kendra: Now what’s on tap for you come the new year?
Julie: I have two or three features in the works and I’m working on another one of my own songs. I’m trying to get my act together so I can play live.
Kendra: Going back not too far, let’s talk about bath time again. If you had to make a mixtape featuring the songs you love to relax within the bath, what five would have to be on it?