This is a singer/songwriter at the height of their craft.
★★★★1/2 Sunday Star Times
Yep, she can sing, and when she soars it’s a spine-tingling thing because it’s all real.
It is a lush and layered set, full of sonic and melodic details, yet always with Deans’s voice at the centre.
Julia Deans' solo album Modern Fables further cements her status as one of our best singer-songwriters.
– Groove Guide
It’s her combination of sharp lyrics and a conscious pop sound in conjunction with her superior vocal talent which sets Julia Deans apart.
– The Corner
Walking In The Sun
A New Dialogue
Photo: Mareea Vegas
Having first come to the fore as the sassy and beguiling front woman for Fur Patrol at the turn of the century, the past decade has seen Julia Deans transition from iconic rock chick to glorious songbird.
Deans’ first solo album Modern Fables was released to critical acclaim in 2010, earning her a swag of nominations for several coveted musical accolades including the Taite Music Prize, the APRA Silver Scroll (for "A New Dialogue") and Best Female Solo Artist and Best Pop Album at the NZ Music Awards.
In the time between albums, Deans has delved into a long list of other musical projects, working with acts like The Adults, SJD, and Neil Finn; performed in an impressive array of art festival shows paying tribute to the likes of Jacques Brel, Joni Mitchell, and Shakespeare; and worked with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra twice – first on a show of her own songs with Anika Moa, and then in a tribute to David Bowie.
Though it has been close to eight years between releases, Deans’ new collection of songs We Light Fire sees her return to the song writing fore enriched with experience and full of purpose. Inspired by world events, friends, and family, the new album examines both what it means to be human, and our spectrum of strength and vulnerability.
There is a true sense of confidence to We Light Fire, an album that grapples with a variety of sociological ideas, illustrated with strong poetic imagery, and bound by a rich sound palette which still lets her distinctive voice come to the fore.
“When I first started out as a teenager, I was singing about these feelings and ideas that I was really only just starting to experience. It’s interesting how, as you get older, the shape of them becomes more defined – more 3D – in the context of all your other experiences.”