Julia Brown An Abundance Of Strawberries on LP
In every way, Julia Brown's only full-length record An Abundance of Strawberries defies expectations. Their final release, Strawberries was recorded largely after the band had broken up. Rather than scrap a large amount of material, songwriter Sam Ray and violist and singer Caroline White decided to finish the record with a rotating cast of musicians, including the original band members Alec Simke and John Toohey, as well as Sean Mercer, Warren Hildebrand, Alex Giannascoli, Abby Trunfio, and others.
Largely eschewing traditional band arrangements, they worked heavily with samples – drum machines, breaks, and bird calls in lieu of traditional percussion, 808s in place of basslines – before layering arrangements of strings, pianos, horns, and omnichord on top alongside lush harmonies and oft-affected vocals. The result is a meticulous record that sounds like nothing and everything at once. Both celebratory and melancholy, it nods toward a lineage of pop and indie-pop artists from Ellie Greenwich to Heavenly and more experimental acts like Fog, Cotton Candy Collective, Spiritualized and Duster.
Originally slated for a proper release in 2014, the album was given out for free via email and dropbox before being widely disseminated on social media, youtube, and torrent sites at Ray's behest. A year later, it's finally seeing the light of day as a beautiful 12" record – replete with bonus tracks, and a limited amount of prints and photo booklets.