American wanderer Julie Byrne’s second album ‘Not Even Happiness’ comes 3 years after her debut. A more confident beast, Not Even Happiness adds atmospheric instrumentation and electronic flourishes to Byrne’s unusual guitar tunings and fingerpicked melodies, moving the songs from the
front-porch into subtle anthemia…
1: I have double jointed shoulders
2: When I was a child, I wanted to grow up to be a Professional Swimmer.
3: I was named after my Grandmother, a beautiful landscape painter.
1. What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
I grew up with the sound of my father’s playing, which was fingerstyle guitar, so I would say that my style is completely rooted in his influence. The guitar that I use on our most recent record is his.
2. How and when did you get into making music?
My father stopped playing in the year 2000 due to complications from Multiple Sclerosis, which was almost ten years before I was called to the instrument myself. I missed the sound mostly.
3. What are 4 of your favourite albums of all time?
1. Nina Simone, ‘Nuff Said!
2. Caethua, The Long Afternoon on Earth
3. Leonard Cohen, Songs From a Room
4. Various Artists, Famous Ghazals Of Mirza Ghalib
4. What do you associate with Berlin?
I’ve only visited Berlin once. It was in the late summer of 2014 for Torstrassen Festival. An endless night followed and ended at a party at someone’s apartment. The whole place glowed in candle light and a bar was set up in the sky blue bathroom. The clawfoot tub was filled with ice.
5. What’s your favourite place in your town?
I live in Newark, New Jersey. I’d say either this 24 hour diner named Anton’s or the old five and dime: TM Ward.
6. If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
I can’t imagine that because for peace of mind I sing to myself throughout the day. I reckon I’d keep on writing poems, return to writing letters or take up ceramics if I had the money to do it.
7. What was the last record/music you bought?
Weyes Blood, A Front Row Seat to Earth!
8. Who would you most like to collaborate with?
Infinity’s Song or Whitney <3
9. What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
Impossible to answer when there have been so many nights filled with spirit and freedom.
10. How important is technology to your creative process?
Not important at all.
11. Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career/art?
I’m an only!
Julie Byrne will be appearing on 6th June at Maschinenhaus in Berlin.