Juliana Daugherty

Shares title track from debut album Light Due out on 1 June via Western Vinyl


Singer-songwriter Juliana Daugherty reveals the title track from her forthcoming debut album "Light", which wraps otherworldly minimalist lo-fi with stark instrumentation and haunting, fluid vocals. The album is due out on 1 June via Western Vinyl and was captured in the Virginia countryside by producer Colin Killalea who is known for his work with Albert Hammond Jr and Natalie Prass.
Daugherty explains more about the track: "'Light' might be the darkest song on the record, but I think it is also the most optimistic. The final lines of the song are about finding the drive to carry on through darkness and difficulty. In my mind, and in the song, this drive has more to do with biology than with any human determination or strength of character. Some might see this as a bleak outlook, but I think this is a beautiful thing—to remember that I am first a living organism, governed by the laws that govern all organisms, has always been a comfort to me."

It's hard to imagine that Daugherty's softness and subtlety could materialize amid the tumult of current-day Charlottesville, Virginia, but every mode of being continues there, as it does elsewhere, despite the impressions headlines might give. Political outrage seems to inhabit every mental space in modernity implying that the most important problems are the most visible. Societal ills being what they are, private struggles still exist - Light gives them palatable, manageable, and satisfying form.

"I wrote this record partly to strip mental illness of its power," Daugherty says. Though this statement seems contrary to the romantic tone of 'Light', it's refreshing to hear an artist speak of their own depression with objectivity, unwilling to be charmed by the gloom. Daugherty wields her songcraft like a sword, not a diary to be buried in a drawer.

Initially walking in the footsteps of her trumpeter and violist father and mother, Daugherty grew up playing multiple instruments, even attending a conservatory before stepping away from classical music entirely. She went on to acquire an MFA in poetry – a fact not lost on Light. In many ways, poetry seems to be another musical instrument on the record, deepening the mood instead of merely floating atop it.

Juliana's lilting voice asserts itself despite its understatement, gaining a quiet confidence that transcends the need for egotistical decoration. Light was not a title chosen despite the gravity of its subject matter – romantic struggle, abject depression, and throbbing vulnerability – but rather in service of it. Light, so to speak, comes when we give shape to what haunts us.

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