The Static That Carries Over by Winnipeg band Julien’s Daughter is an example of a basement band truly coming into their own.
Right in the middle of their album, The Static That Carries Over, Julien’s Daughter have a song called “Wellington”. Anyone familiar with the band’s home-town of Winnipeg will appreciate the allusion. Wellington Crescent is a street in Winnipeg that follows the Assiniboine River through the city. It’s also a street synonymous with the affluent class of Winnipeg. High property costs within a desired central location mean the surrounding neighbourhoods are fairly unattainable for a majority of the city’s populace.
As lead singer Emma Murphy tells the story, it becomes clear that “Wellington” isn’t any sort of homage, commentary, or class critique — it’s about a failed relationship. “I was telling you something yesterday/ but you didn’t pay attention,” sings Murphy candidly through sludgy guitars and a driving bass-line. As “Wellington” progresses, the narrator exposes how the problematic relationship isn’t one-sided; mutual disdain triggers both parties’ impulsive and emotional reactions. The thought-provoking track leaves you wondering if this failing relationship and the neighbourhoods of Wellington elicit similar desires — an unattainable and possibly toxic lifestyle that generates simultaneous desire and contempt.
Julien’s Daughter lives in that juxtaposition. Opposite forces are pulling at one another throughout the album, lyrically and sonically. The music simultaneously feels ominous and catchy, which adds to the group’s creative credibility. Though each song tackles a different and strange human habit, each track on The Static That Carries Over isn’t overburdened by the songs’ emotional weight. The indie-pop/rock nature of the album makes you want to dance, sing along, or go for a walk; at the very least, you will want to move your body.
Catchy melodies blended with heavy guitar and drum sonics ensure the album retains a refined grunge aesthetic and each track settles somewhere between indie-rock and garage. “Barb 217” is a perfect example of how Julien’s Daughter manages to incorporate multi-genre influences into a cohesive work of art. The song sounds vaguely like an early 2000s pop/rock song, giving it a nostalgic quality. Towards the end, the song grows into a high-octane jam session with a loose melody. The Static That Carries Over is an example of a basement band truly coming into their own.