by Chris Hatch
Julianna Riolino’s latest single is an exercise in giving oneself over to somebody completely – while somehow still remaining totally in control.
When she sings of ‘(dreaming) about you holding me nine months ago’, it comes across less like melting at somebody’s touch, and more like understanding what she wants and communicating it clearly.
And this confidence filters through in Riolino’s songwriting. You is structured as a country song, but where other artists would watch it dive into softly sweet slide guitars and trite cliches, the Toronto-based artist adds chugging guitars and interesting turns of phrase. It’s got more in common with Jenny Lewis’s self-assured solo stuff and The Shins’ more twangier material than it has with much of the more straight-up Americana that some of her contemporaries make. And while musically miles apart from Mannequin Pussy’s visceral rock, there’s something about Riolino’s vocal that has shades of Marisa Dabice soul-baring honesty.
Coupled with previous single, Lone Ranger, Riolino’s latest release hints that upcoming album, All Blue, could be a stomping, confident collection of alt-rock Americana.
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