Review by Shannon Shumaker
Alabama indie pop band Jule Vera are proving that they’re a force to be reckoned with on their new album, Waiting On The Sun. Releasing on the same day the band embarks on the Vans Warped Tour all summer, Waiting On The Sun finds Jule Vera growing as musicians and further exploring the sounds that set them apart on Friendly Enemies.
The album’s opening track marks a perfect return of the band, showcasing vocalist Ansley Newman’s sticky sweet vocals alongside ultra catchy instrumentals. “Show Me” is Jule Vera at their best, carried by a groovy bass line, minimal yet captivating guitar work and strong percussion. Rounding things out is the Ratatat-esque guitar work that can be found later in the song - it’s unexpected, but certainly not unwelcome.
Jule Vera’s exploration of new sounds on this album can be heard right off the bat, as well. The second song, “Something Good” takes a huge step away from “Show Me,” swapping groovy bass tones with classic piano and guitar, but despite the drastic change in sound, Jule Vera still shine. “Something Good” threatens to lose some of the energy that the opening track establishes at first, but when the song finally kicks in, it really kicks in. Then comes “10000 Hours,” which takes us back to “Show Me” sonically while lyrically, it touches on the hard work that you put into the things you love. In Jule Vera’s case, that’s Waiting On The Sun.
Track after track, Jule Vera continue to step out of their comfort zone to explore exciting new sounds. Although it can definitely make for a bit of a inconsistent listen, there isn’t necessarily a weak song on this release. “Bad Company,” for instance, has that same groove as the first few songs while lyrically, it takes on a more serious tone about an unhealthy relationship. Then, only a few songs later, comes the stripped down “Porch Swing.” The change in sound is drastic once more, but “Porch Swing” serves its purpose, telling a story about taking a step away from the stresses of life when things become too hectic. In the simplicity of “Porch Swing,” you can definitely feel what the band is trying to tell you.
Jule Vera might still be trying to find themselves, as any young band does, but they’re also not trying to hide it. The drastic changes in sound on this album might make your head spin, but the fact of the matter is, the band is pushing past their comfort zone and into exciting, unfamiliar territory. You can’t blame them for wanting to try something new, and thankfully, they excel at it. Is Waiting On The Sun consistent musically? No, but despite the fact that the album isn’t necessarily cohesive, the band does shine when experimenting with new sounds. The final two songs - the simplistic and raw “Waiting” and massive “Can’t Help” - couldn’t be more different from one another, but that’s what music is about: exploring and being creative. If you’re looking for a dynamic new release, then Waiting On The Sun is the album for you.
LISTEN TO: "Show Me" or "Something Good"
STAY CONNECTED WITH JULE VERA: https://www.facebook.com/juleveramusic/