julia sole – paranoid sleeping

Netherlands-based Julia Sole has just released her debut single, Paranoid Sleeping, and we’ve been taking a listen here at the Send Me Your Ears studio today.

Paranoid Sleeping is a glimpse into the peculiar mind of Julia Sole and the chaos that it holds. In the artist’s words; “ It’s about detaching myself from my fears and imperfections. For me, it can be hard to fall asleep because of worries and fears spinning in my head.”

Paranoid Sleeping is a dark European pop track that demands to be listened to. From the sound effects and drum patterns at the start of the song, you simply have no idea where the song is going to go. Some dark, swirling synths join the mix and the song begins to feel a little like Kraftwerk’s, The Model.

The layered stereo backing vocals in the choruses are a nice touch and lift the song at just the right moment. The lead vocal is often spoken, but the whole delivery of the vocal line is one of sheer confidence and is delivered with such passion that you are more than happy to take whatever Julia throws at you. Our curiosity about this vocalist was piqued to the limit and the comparisons to Björk are easy to make. The confidence and couldn’t-care-less-what-you-think attitude in the vocal delivery is evident.

There were moments we were reminded of Fiona Apple’s latest, rather industrial-sounding album, together with the occasional trip-hop Portishead-like moment.

We like the occasional tritones in the synth bass line that add extra darkness, giving the song a slightly creepy and unnerving feel. The use of stops is very effective in adding to the slightly uncomfortable feel of the track, and they help to keep the listener off guard.

From a production perspective, we’d suggest a fairly large low-shelf cut set at around 100Hz would reduce some boominess without affecting the darkness of the low-end synth bass track. However, since a large part of the overall volume is in the bottom 2-3 octaves, a light compressor/limiter and maybe 4-5dB of make up gain will bring the overall volume back up.

Julia Sole is a new artist on the scene and one who is instantly carving out her own niche. This dark European power pop will intrigue and delight fans of experimental music such as Björk or the Sugarcubes.