before and details that may or may not have relevance for the day ahead, and in the midst of it all, I hopped into the car and listened to "Cherries."
"Cherries" is an exercise in therapy; the 18-year-old Chicago-native/LA-transplant believes “music is intended to be an emotional journey." Sonically, “Cherries” really cleared the air for me, mentally speaking. The EP starts off with “Nevermind,” which immediately gave me impressions and sensations of a sonic palette that was not what I had anticipated, and I was pleasantly delighted by it. Opening with a subdued guitar riff, Joy appears to be embarking on a bit of joint therapy as she slowly makes her way through the verse. This is only to say that the emotion in her performance really stands out. Her confidence shines again as she declares that she's “not the one.” As we make our way through the song, it feels like she offers up more and more of her vulnerability, which for me is summed up with the following line: “but I wish I was.” It is so hard to allow yourself to be vulnerable, especially for a young artist. However, being vulnerable is a key to forging real connections with people. Joy’s music is pretty focused and mature stuff. There's something about the choice of snare drum that really gets me going with this song it's a digitized sound that seems to have the tail end cut off of it and it smacks you in the face as the song progresses, much in the way moods like these tend to smack our hearts and minds.
read, and sophomoric. A big part of that tendency is probably because singing about love is one of the oldest lyrical topics in existence. However, Joy manages to jump over the trap, avoiding the pitfalls that consume so many singer-songwriters by remaining vulnerable, confident, and witty. “Carbon Copies” shows Joy flexing her artistic skills and mature perspective. More importantly, it displays a contagious confidence. She crones, "you think you're too good for me…” but ends with “I'm too good for you," really nailing the hook. The sonic atmosphere of this track takes a thicker, darker turn than the previous two.
This EP kind of culminates with “Cherry Bomb,” and some of you out there might say, “of course, obviously,” but I wasn't sure at first. Joy pushes the pop to another level with strong instrumentation and, frankly, another song of gorgeous vocals that really puts me in an ethereal and dreamy mental headspace that allows me to shed stress. I say that it “kind of” culminates the EP, considering the energy and dynamics of the track. The final song, “Posiedon” is also a strong pop-offering, but I felt myself a little emotionally winded after “Cherry Bomb.” I had to listen to it twice in a row, because I wasn’t really ready. My favorite line is "one heart broken, one heart to go." Posiedon is simultaneously majestic and powerful. It is aptly named and a fitting end to the journey. Joy leverages her voice with uncanny control and efficiency. I feel able to identify some of her influences I’m familiar with, such as Lorde and St. Vincent. Her music excites me because she is clearly making a conscious effort to blend and make something authentic. Her delivery feels sincere.
The former GRAMMY Camp attendee has successfully achieved her goal of allowing the listener to “get inside her songs and recognize moments in their own lives.” I couldn’t have said it better myself, but will try. For me, this type of songwriting is of the highest level. It takes effort and, more importantly, a real “touch” or “sense” for what we’ll call “word-play” when it comes to lyrics. New listeners of Julianna Joy will cherish experiencing “Cherries.” This is music to leave your lover to. This is perfect music for when you have a long drive ahead. “Cherries” is ripe to accompany heavy moments and can lead the listener to catharsis. It has a home in every hopeless romantic’s Spotify library. The self-proclaimed “author with musical abilities” has already become a seasoned songwriter. “Cherries” creeps down into the psyche of each listener.
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