Having been championed by the dance music underground in Miami, Juliet Richardson,...
Lewis Dene 2005
Having been championed by the dance music underground in Miami, Pennsylvanian Juliet Richardson with the release of Random Order looks for wider recognition with a debut album of palpable depth.
"Avalon", the hauntingly simple debut single and an Essential New Tune on the nation's favourite, is a forerunner of what's within and perfectly encapsulates Juliet's celestial timbre.
It's a blueprint created by celebrated Stuart Price (aka Jacques Lu Cont / Thin White Duke / Les Rhythmes Digitales) that at times mirrors his own stylings, creating a female counterpart for the alterna-electro brassy retro-pop market in the process. "I am guided by my own impulses", she reaffirms, having learned from her frustration fronting the sugar-coated pop-rock band 1 Plus 1.
When the penny dropped and she realised she was trapped within another manufactured pop act, she shaved her head in rebellion and started screaming in black instead of bouncing in pink.
Drawing on inspirations that range from Radiohead and Daft Punk to Jeff Buckley and My Bloody Valentine, Juliet's music is best described as electronic/house with pop sensibilities.
"Nu Taboo" sums up the same breathless explosion of urban pop energy that gave Kylie "Slow", and is the most outwardly electro-pop moment on display, while "Neverland" rides throbbing basslines and 80s synths riffs in the best tradition of Kraftwerk and Blondie.
Elsewhere comatose beats and razor-sharp processed guitars stand juxtaposed on the ethereal Kate Bush-sounding torch song, "Waiting"; on "New Shoes" Juliet flutters to rocky heights and then drops to sultry whispers in the space of a few seconds against loosely knitted guitar/drum interplay.
Amazingly, the album was composed in two short weeks with the themes drawn from personal experiences. "There's enough fiction in the world, people are more interesting when they're honest", she boldly declares. And that's what Juliet has achieved: a potent cocktail of incisive sensuality that perfectly fuses dance-inflected rock beats, with waves of vivid, vocal emotion.