The opening of this last decade left a giant question mark on Moonface frontman Spencer Krug’s career. Disbanding one of the finest indie bands to come out of Montreal – Wolf Parade – Krug left for Finland shortly after creating a solo project which he named Moonface. Before his most recent release, Julia With Blue Jeans On, he put out two other albums, Dreamland EP: Marimba and Shit-Drums and Organ Music Not Vibraphone Like I’d Hoped. In Finland, he released another album, this time with the collaboration of Helsinki-based rock band Siinai. Throughout these albums, a musical evolution is clearly visible, as Krug’s sound is defined. The results are mixed and definitely confusing as they don’t really follow a logical or necessarily clear artistic direction.
With Julia With Blue Jeans On, it feels like Krug tries to make his way back to the basics. In doing so, he falls back onto the instrument that brought him into the musical world: the piano. His latest album is stripped of all the trippy synth effects that defined some of his later pieces, but the result is not less impressive. It really seems as if the Canadian singer/songwriter took his time when writing and producing this album. And, if anything, it’s extremely more emotionally charged than his other more complex compositions.
Julia With Blue Jeans On commands its listeners to listen to it with attention. It is not a light album to be played in the background of a coffee shop. If listened to closely, it tells the story, almost day by day, of a period in Krug’s life which was deeply marked by love lost.
The opening is brilliant, it kicks off with a genius piano riff that sounds like it could be the theme song to a ’90s TV show. On this track, ‘Barbarian’, Krug sings: “I am a barbarian / I’ve been a barbarian most of my life”, realizing, in an intense moment of self-awareness, that he is in fact the reason why the girl described in the song (Julia, perhaps?) is crying. This brutal self-destruction sets the tone for the album, which, in turn, becomes an opus of self-examination and realization by the singer who constantly questions the choices made throughout his life.
Julia With Blue Jeans On is a passion-driven emotional journey, filled with great compositions by Canadian artist Spencer Krug. The sincerity of his music beckons the listener to really take the time to listen as the he pours his heart out with every piano riff and every lyric.
For more on Moonface, visit www.moonface.ca.