Julian Velard: The Movies Without You
This New Yorker (son of a French ATM designer and 4-Time Jeopardy champion from Alabama) is a former video delivery boy to the stars, who has taken the scenic route. He’s worked a slew of bizarre jobs to support himself, anything from teaching gym to kindergarteners, to a stint with the Paris ‘Department of Sanitation.’ Wearing his world weariness in a whisky baritone that’s been compared, to both sides of Tom (Waits and Jones) and all sorts of Morrison (Van and Jim), Julian finds pop songs in unlikely places: landmines, dinner plates, what you left behind the couch, even visits to the zoo!
Produced by Roger Greenawalt (Ben Kweller, The Pierces) over the summer of 2006 in Brooklyn, ‘The Movies Without You’ is Julian’s weird brand of classic psych, as in psychiatric, piano pop, 2007-cum-1979 style ‘Rock and Roll.’ It’s a sensitive brew, in which he played most of the instruments, yet managed to feature all his musical geek friends, including members of Groove Collective, Antibalas, Fine Arts Militia, and power-pop maestro Bleu. Turning the singer-songwriter genre headlong, Julian outlawed guitar from the studio, opting instead for textures like melodica, glockenspiel, ukulele, and clarinet.
The EP is about his love of the movies, about watching them over and over, till your life feels like one. Listen to the opening track ‘Jimmy Dean And Steve McQueen‘, with its tyre screeches, sleigh bells, baseball organ and handclaps, and you know right away this kid is still under the spell of his 1986 native New York Mets! ’Joni‘ is Hollywood at it’s most seductive, but on Julian’s terms, it’s modern romanticism dressed in soaring strings & funky clavinet as played by classic period Stevie Wonder. You can prepare for ‘A Dream‘, but you won’t be ready! It’s the most tortuous juxtaposition of fantasy in reality, a touchstone of sensitivity, & then the ‘Little Demons‘ return, unabashed, bouncing & smiling at every exhilarant honest reflection of the day that comes from Julian’s mouth.