‘Ocean/England’ by Julia Meijer (Single)
Post-rock kids will find as much to enjoy here as acolytes of indie-folk, with grandiose atmospherics allied to delicate melodies
Julia Meijer is a Swedish indie-folk songwriter who decamped to sunny England three years ago. Ocean/England is her double A-side debut single and it is full of the sort of wintery melodies that you might expect from a writer who grew up in an icy Scandinavian climate.
Opener Ocean allies a delicate finger picking acoustic melody to haunting atmospherics, which serve to create a mood that evokes the beautiful backdrop of Mono’s post-rock gem Hymn To The Immortal Wind. Against this is Meijer’s voice: strong, stoic and rich, it acts as a beacon among the mist and gives you something on which to grip as the track ebbs and sways. England takes the atmospherics even further, with Meijer’s guitar work shifting into alt-rock territory. Of the two songs it’s the one that best highlights Meijer’s skill for composition, with each note being written with an appreciation of the role it has to play in the song as a whole.
Unlike many of her indie-folk peers, Julia Meijer’s songwriting has something of the grandiose about it. That comes at something of a cost, because it means that the hooks can be hidden among the sweeping soundscapes that she builds around them. That, though, should be taken as a draw rather than a barrier to her music, with the beautiful moods she creates having a life that lasts long beyond the duration of their track length.
Verdict: Atmospheric indie-folk