Coming back after a successful run at SXSW Julia Weldon headlined the Musebox NYC showcase at Tammany Hall on Mar. 21. The Brooklyn born singer songwriter is no stranger to the limelight. In the past Weldon has worked as an actress, however it was during her days at Vassar College that she began to pursue her music more seriously. Currently Weldon pursues music full-time and brought her “rooftop pop and cornfield folk” to the masses in a first self titled EP, some of which she played at the Tammany Hall show. There Weldon particular style and talent shinned.
Weldon seamlessly integrated a band throughout her set. Switching from solo to accompanied is a new process for Weldon but she masked it well. “I just started playing with a band more and it’s actually start of an interesting switch for me because I play solo so often and I don’t know if you could tell but I’m just so comfortable playing solo,” Weldon said. “ It’s an interesting thing because the album I’m about to put out is a full bodied produced…it’s like the producer [Saul Simon MacWilliams] I’m working with did so many amazing thing with my songs. What I’m trying to do is bring that kind of instrumentation into the live shows.”
The band served to beef up Weldon’s vocals and served to create a more dynamic well-rounded sound. However it should be noted that the somber tones of Weldon’s solo songs had a power to them all their own. Such sounds could be heard on one of the Weldon’s newest songs “Meadow.” Weldon performed the song with a full band accompaniment and brought the almost haunting melody of the recorded track to the live show.
The newest album is a departure for the performer. Her first release was composed alone in a room in Brooklyn with the hopes she with be able to get her music out. The tentatively titled, Light is a Ghost, release looks to be a comprehensive twelve-track compilation of what Weldon describes to be her best songs. The tracks feature the many facets of Weldon’s skill from her song writing to her guitar playing with the occasional harmonica. Those same skills Weldon brings out in her live show.
Throughout the duration of her performance Weldon remained smiling and singing. She used the show as a chance to test new material and through that created a dialogue with the audience. She told the stories of her songs and her life all the while strumming away of her six string and in one case a ukulele. The inclusion of new instruments is how Weldon signifies her evolution as an artist. “I think that it’s important to always be evolving as an artist with your music, so the ukulele and the harmonica, I’m writing a lot more songs with them now. The ukulele is brand new but I think it’s an important part of my set now, people tend to respond to it.”
Weldon is currently on a tour of the West coast but is sure to return to the city that gives her such inspiration soon. After all, Weldon draws a great deal of inspiration from the city itself and believes her Brooklyn roots a major part of herself. The influence of the city can be heard on almost every track. The slow comedown of “Icarus” is reminiscent of a night that fades into day with a steady brilliant sunrise. “All I gave her” has such lonely lyrics it seems to represent the solitude of the city.
The allusions are countless but well executed. Light is a Ghost is sure to draw the attention of fans and critics alike. The best place to listen to it however is live where Weldon’s passions and talent are that much more apparent.
All photos by Olivia Beteta