We get acquainted with upcoming Swedish musician and producer Julia Rakel ahead of the release of her upcoming debut EP
Julia Rakel is fairly new on our radar, but her immersive brand of bedroom-pop has stood out to us at Born Music since we first heard it at the beginning of the year. The Swedish artists’s laid-back, dreamy, DIY aesthetic has provided with some wonderfully candid and vulnerable music and we are poised and excited to hear everything that follows it.
One thing that makes Rakel stand out are her lyrics. Her clever, and relentlessly honest assessments of people and situations ensure that her music is enjoyed on a multitude of levels. Whether you’re there for the young artists cynical wit or her slick, spaced-out, lo-fi sound, you’re sure to find a reason to stay.
The next milestone for Julia Rakel is her upcoming debut EP indie fEElz. We caught up with the young musician and producer to find out a little more about the emerging talent.
Hey Julia! How was your 2018?
Oh you know, warm. Only the hottest year in history, literally. Apparently the heat got so bad in Portugal and Spain, they noted temperatures around 50 degreas celsius! That’s just. Crazy.
This year has seen the release of your debut single ‘PDFILWM’, what was the process like bringing this track to life?
PDFILWM is actually one of my older songs. I wrote it back in early 2016 I think, quickly recorded it on my phone and then later forgot about it. It had way more sad elements in it’s first form. After some time I re-discovered it, decided that it had to be a happy song, opened Pro Tools and recorded it all in one session. If I remember correctly.
Are you happy with the reaction that it has been met with?
It has been overwhelming! So far I’ve only gotten friendly reactions from people – at least what I know of.
You do all of your writing and producing yourself and this makes for a very DIY aesthetic and sound, is this something that you are a fan of?
Yeah sure, I’ve always been a fan of stuff being done in personal ways. Maybe not DIY per se, but I like listening to music where you can hear who’s behind it all. Annie Clark of St. Vincent as an example. She has made 5 albums (7 if you count the one with David Byrne and the piano version of Masseduction called MassEducation) all of them very different. Yet somehow you can always tell like oh yeah, that’s a St Vincent song.
How would you describe your sound to anybody still unfamiliar with it?
Well, this EP will have lots of analogue drum machines doing their best to keep up, my voice desperately trying to sing phrases in a key a bit too high than it is capable of and I don’t know. Trichords I guess.
I ’d say expect music you can dance really bad to. Like an old man who hears his favourite song from the good ol’ days. He tries you know, but.. It’ll come out a bit silly. Silly, but with heart in it.
How do you feel that Sweden and in particular Umeå and Malmö have influenced your songwriting?
The country and towns themselves haven’t really done more than being my homes. The people in them on the other hand, they sure got some influencing qualities going on.
What else do you see as key influences on your sound?
I’d say that whatever I’m feeling is totally my biggest influence. So. Me, I guess. I’m a key influence.
You’re also credited for previously being involved with things like sound design and making music for short films, how do you think that has impacted your own music?
Oh, this one is easy. I’m soooo much better at organising my projects and having my shit named in ways that are actually understandable. I’m doing an ok job with the whole backup thing, I’m getting there.
Julia Rakel’s debut EP indie fEElz is out March 15th via Rama Lama Records