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The Vow – Julia

You won’t find too many songs in popular music inspired by George Orwell’s literary classic 1984. Consider that statement a dare. English band The Vow, however, have made a regular habit of upending audience expectations over the course of their time playing together and are happy to continue that tradition with their latest single release. The band grew out of Liverpool’s post-punk trio No Exit and focused on singer-songwriter Graham Trust alongside other former No Exit member lead guitarist Martyn Gilbert. The pair soon added drummer Tony Potter, basist Paul O’Brien, and vocalist Jacqui Lancaster. The band allowed themselves two years to land a record deal but, by late 1990, The Vow changed direction and assumed a much rockier style than before. Lancaster and O’Brien left the band and The Vow brought Nick Reynolds in to play bass. Another year passed and, having generated scant attention from record companies, the band broke up.

BANDCAMP: https://thevowuk.bandcamp.com/track/julia

Graham Trust made a fateful decision to reform the band in 2006 with a different lyrical focus than before and composed enough material by mid 2008 to consider a solo acoustic release. The beginning of the recording process precipitated another turn in fortunes when lead guitarist Gilbert rejoined Trust and drummer Tony Potter returned to record drums for a dozen tracks in two days. The band’s first release landed with 2011’s EP Spacedust and they followed it up with 2012 ‘s full length For a Dreamer. They have maintained a prolific pace since then with 2013’s Bluer Than You, 2014’s You Are?, and 2015’s Ghost Writer.

“Julia”, the band’s new single, is inspired by the feelings 1984’s protagonist Winston Smith held for the character Julia and is a likely harbinger for a forthcoming EP release. The track has an elegant mid-tempo gait with acoustic and electric guitar playing together over Potter’s sturdy drumming. The production gives the song’s sound considerable snap without ever coming off overwrought. Light keyboard work from Mike Smith makes its presence felt during the song’s second half. The Vow embraces a melodic slant for this track without ever sliding into outright pop; there’s much more of a singer/songwriter vibe defining the performance.

Trust’s vocals are warm, inviting, and never betray the years and there’s some tasteful harmonizing deep into the track. The lyrical content of the performance is another distinguished element setting it apart from your standard fare. Trust’s writing has strong images throughout without ever seeming forced. “Julia” is an artful and graceful track that proves the band has something to say in 2019 and they seem to be establishing more momentum with each new release. This new incarnation of the band has a sense of destiny surrounding their story and the song’s sound makes it apparent they made a wise choice reconvening. If “Julia” is an early taste of the forthcoming EP, listeners are set for an outstanding artistic experience from this English band. Newcomers will, without a doubt, be impressed by the finesse and feeling invested in this track and it never wastes listener’s time.

Mindy McCall

The music of THE VOW has been heard all over the world due to the radio plugging services offered by Musik and Film Records. Learn more – https://musikandfilm.com

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