by Philip Moss
To judge a book by its cover is foolish, and the same can also be said for a record sleeve. But I don’t think anyone would predict – from the candid image that adorns Jules – the box of eclectic magic that Julien Chang’s debut LP conjures up.
Opener, Deep Green, displays the classically trained musician’s deft ear for sumptuous arrangement – layered pianos evoke the spiralling ambience of Heather Woods Broderick – before the record’s most overt, overarching influence – Tame Impala – seeps through via Chang’s reverb soaked voice. Elsewhere, there are shades of Daft Punk and Ari Roar on Of The Past. While perhaps the standout moment – on an album where there are many – is Memory Loss, which is just one example of the way in which Chang marries seductive melody alongside prog experimentalism within the confines of a three minute pop structure.
So often, we become obsessed with labelling records and pigeon holing artists, but the New York based artist has produced a debut that’s borderline genreless. And having not yet even turned 20, that really is no mean feat.
Secret Meeting score: 79