Over - Julia Vorontsova
Julia Vorontsova's sophomore release Over, represents crossing over from a childhood in St. Petersburg, Russia to womanhood in Los Angeles, California, explored through the Russian poetic traditions of old and contemporary themes of self- discovery, relationships and multiple identities. Settled, for now, in Los Angeles, Julia is a true citizen of the world, having spent time in Warsaw and Paris before returning to St. Petersburg and eventually California. She often feels like a gypsy. "I used to get hung up about it, like I don't feel like I belong, I don't know where I am, where is my home? And then I figured, it's just anywhere. Where ever I take off my shoes at night, that's where my home is." While Julia now seems comfortable where she is, the themes on Over grapple with questions of who she is. "OK, this is going to sound a little bit crazy", she explains. "I feel like there is an old woman, very cynical and bitter inside of me, who puts everybody down. She tells you your dreams won't come true, you're just naive and young. Then there's this young man who is the poet, very inspired, very much a free soul, a nomad who thinks the world is open to him. He goes on adventures. He's the fearless one. And, then there is me; the woman who is trying to make sense out of the other two characters." It's all rich fodder for a thoughtful collection of personal insights which become the songs on Over. The compelling cover photograph captures the heart of Russian winter. The little girl is actually a very young Julia bundled up in front of a naval academy in St. Petersburg. The chill and brooding it conjures is echoed in the melancholy of Julia's voice and melody. That's the traditional. But, the gypsy in her also brings out the fire and duende of Latin music, especially in the understated but brilliant guitar work of Argentinean collaborator Zeke Zima. "I wanted somebody (to work with) who could appreciate the beauty of the music but not be afraid to break it. He brought in some pretty acoustic but also some distorted guitars which shatter the song into pieces and he adds that Latin touch as well." The title track, Over was written in the air over England where the girlfriend she just broke up with lives. On the flight, Julia envisioned the word Over in both it's meanings, as in levitating above, and coming to terms with the relationship being finished. There is a poetic discipline from old Russia that lives on through the weighty song-writing of today's Russian artists. It's a mark that distinguishes and elevates this music above the vacuous lyricism of western pop, and that's music to our ears.
Recomended tracks: St. Pete, Oubliette, Over