My name is
Francis Baptiste.
I review new music
every Tuesday & Friday.

Julien Amar – Self Titled

Written Tuesday, September 3

Julien Amar’s self titled album is a unique, genre-bending gem. Amar is an accomplished musician, playing all of the instruments on this album and doing so very aptly. On songs like Feelin’ Steady, One Touch, and I Won’t Wait he proves himself to be an excellent guitarist and keyboardist. But often the real character of his music comes from his voice, which can be wildly expressive at times. 

In the first track I love how the second verse is nothing like the first verse. It almost  functions more like an extended bridge. It’s a very welcome change from the traditional verse-chorus-verse-chorus setup, and a great way to start the album.

The second track is my favourite of the seven. All the pieces seem to come together perfectly on this song, the way the guitar and the piano play off each other in the chorus, the way the bass notes climb then descend in the intro. It’s also got probably the catchiest chorus of the bunch.

In A Version of Me there’s an amazing solo on keys. On the next track, I Won’t Wait, the interplay between the guitar and keys is perfect. The pre-chorus before the second chorus in I Won’t Wait is a great touch and adds a bit of unpredictability and memorability to the song. 

The great thing about albums that are written and performed by a single person is it presents the listener with a clear, singular, and unified vision. That’s definitely what we’re getting from Amar. It’s a very personal sounding album with a unique melange of influences. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing him perform live and he brings a great and memorable energy to the stage. If you get the chance, I recommend checking it out.

You can listen to the album here:

Bandcamp

My name is Francis Baptiste. I'm an Indigenous singer/songwriter in Vancouver, BC, an avid supporter of the Vancouver music scene, a contributing writer to Citrus Magazine, and leader of the band Bird Parade. I'm also a recovering alcoholic and a divorced single father. Music and writing help me combat depression and relapse. For me, creativity, productivity, and community are essential to healing. There's so much incredible music in this city. You can learn more about the music I make on this page. I think it's good to be open about what you're dealing with, so below are some funny pictures of me from the last time I relapsed. It's important to find humour in dark times.

Franci Baptiste feeling rough Francis Baptiste binge drinking Francis Baptiste at his worst

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