Album Review and Interview: New Again

Friday, May 27, 2011

Last week I promised you all a surprise...and here she is. The Chestnut Orange is proud to introduce its premier interview with none other than the incredible UK soul singer (now residing in Atlanta, Ga) Julie Dexter

About a week ago I had the pleasure of being offered a chance to speak with Julie about her latest album New Again, currently available through her record label Ketch a Vibe and iTunes and AmazonNew Again is Julie's fourth solo studio album, the last release being Conscious in 2005. 

The impetus for New Again began in May of 2009 when Julie's manager first gave her the title track. She collaborates with producer Steve "Miggedy" Maestro from Chicago, who offers a mix of slinking electronic dance beats fused with Julie's signature soul and jazz. Her soprano vocals  that at times are a near whisper drift over the bouncy summertime tune "Blue Skies", conjuring a daydream of a lover's delights. 

New Again finds Julie navigating the familar terrain with relationships and love, particularly the renewal of both as is evidenced by the opening track "Sunrise". But this time around Julie is singing through a different point of view: that of a mother and wife. "I'm about to be a mother again in a few days. I'm a wife. I'm not in the same place as when I was first starting out in relationships." 

It's clear that Julie's musical tradition resides in an era of acid jazz similar to acts like British jazz troupe Icognito. But there is also the strong influence of old school R&B acts like the Delfonics and Betty Wright like your mama used to listen to. "I remember watching my mum getting dressed and going out dancing," she reminisces. "This album is my take on that style, that feeling of when love and music were new. Good quality songs, they have meaning and substance." 

A proponent for live instrumentation, but still progressive and experimental, Julie's latest album features a mix of live horns, drums, bass and keyboards as well as computerized electronics.  One of my favorite tracks is "Love 2 Love" for the simple fact that it's perhaps the most classically soulful song on the album, using live instruments to color it and help enhance the expression of feelings for a lover.

(Photo courtesy the artist)

The nonchalantly cool singer is just as genuine over the phone as she is on her album, expressing good vibes, love, and a definite ear for good music. "I'm listening to a lot of Georgia Ann Muldrow right now. She's a producer, singer, songwriter, instrumentalist and I feel like I'm embracing her. It's not her voice over someone else's beats. And Esperanza Spalding for jazz. She's standing strong holding down the bass and there are few out there like that. It's beautiful to see a woman with an instrument with her whole self out there in a musical context that I feel I know her and I know where she is musically."
"I hope listeners--whether new fans or old--get something positive, something tangible. That's my language. That people have a reflection of self."

For all you DMV readers, Julie will be performing at this year's Can A Sista Rock A Mic? (CASRAM) festival on July 29th in downtown Silver Spring. Be sure to come out!


  1. Congratulations! I'm going to listen to her music right now!
    You're so on it!

  2. Aww thanks! Definitely check her out. She's super amazing. Her track "Ketch A Vibe" is one of my favorites :)


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