By Jacob Ezra
Georgia artist Convict Julie has come through with a new album titled Exquisite Pain. Born in Atlanta but based in Athens, the musician’s emotionally layered sound and cathartic, angelic voice are refreshing and captivating, helping to build her a strong budding fanbase in recent years. For her latest project, Julie heightens the tension and enhances the beauty in her music to unprecedented levels, making for a gripping and affecting listen.
The atmospheric opener “Surrender” finds her blending charisma and confidence with a vaguely unsettling mood, making for an intriguing listening experience right off the bat. The song places her vocals at the forefront, and for good reason, as it introduces her compelling voice boldly. Following this track up is the heavier, bouncier “Convict”, which brings in an exciting pace with pillowy 808s and crisp percussion. Minimalistic yet engaging, this instrumental is infectious, providing much replay value. Furthermore, Julie’s vocals here are memorable, as she comes through with a delivery that is raw yet smooth.
An album highlight appears in “Battle Cry”, a grand, expansive cut containing icy, atmospheric keys that ring out over top of rumbling synths and clean percussion. Here, she delivers one of her strongest vocal performances on the record, with soaring melodies deliver in a rich tone. Songs like “Dark Matter” showcase the project’s diversity as well, as this track takes on a more subdued, nocturnal ambiance. Watery, dusky keys make up the heart of “Dark Matter”‘s instrumental, creating a mysterious soundscape that suits Julie’s hypnotic vocals nicely. Lastly, “Legend” closes out the project on a menacing, powerful note, with icy keys and head-nodding percussion, as the vocals give an example of her range, reaching towering heights throughout.
Overall, Exquisite Pain is an affecting, sharply written project from Georgia’s Convict Julie. Showcasing her poise as a songwriter and powerful, angelic vocal style, this album is a gripping listen that deeply immerses the listener in its atmospheric sound. Hopefully more is soon to come from her, as she once again comes through with an emotionally layered offering that is intriguing and unsettling, while also confident and stylish.
Listen to Exquisite Pain now: