San Diego, California-based indie and Americana rock band Sometimes Julie is centered around singer-songwriter duo Monica Sorenson and Rick Walker. They are accompanied by Alberto Moreno (guitar), Bruce Paul Allen (bass), and George Nelms (drums), with whom they created quite an EP.
Bright Side of the Line feels, in a way, like a gift from the other band members to Sorenson; her bandmates let her use their band as a way to channel the difficult experience of losing her son, who was, at the time, only 20 years old. While one might think that all six songs on this EP would be melancholic and depressing, potentially with one or two angry ones thrown into the mix, what listeners are treated to is quite different. After all, there are a lot of both positive and negative emotions that come with grief—even joy.
Emotional rock is something fans of 1990s female-driven pop rock will find loads of here. The genre fits well with the topics at hand, as listeners familiar with the five stages of grief will identify them throughout the EP. The fact that each track cannot fit tidily into one of the five boxes speaks for the complexity of the emotions each of them contain. But overall, one could say that “Standing My Own Ground” channels a lot of anger and defiance; the bluesy rock number seems to make a stand against the difficult times Sorenson is going through.
“Sanctuary” offers hope—hope that is nurtured and sustained by reaching out to others to help them with their own pain. The way Sorenson’s vocals seem to flit and flutter against and with both the guitar and the bass evokes the way the feeling of hope does the same with hearts tenderised by a very difficult experience.
Bargaining comes in two forms in the EP. In “Emily”, it feels like an almost innocent type of it; this is an upbeat track with horns peppering it throughout. While polished, its genre is difficult to put a finger on, but listeners will probably not care, taken away by the duality of a track at times dynamic and enthusiastic, and at other moments, sensual and thick. “Bright Side of the Line” also seems to be dealing with bargaining but as a sub-theme to despair and even denial. This acoustic guitar-led tune is sprinkled with electric guitar contributions and is the one that fits the most with the above-mentioned 1990s female pop rock sounds.
While “Another World” is an escape of sorts, something anyone grieving needs once in awhile, the country rock, bluesy ballad “When The Sun Ain’t Shining” seems to be a release from the grief. The experience of listening to this EP is heightened when one knows its roots, but even those who don’t know about them will enjoy the meticulously built melodies, the thoughtful lyrics, and Sorenson’s vocals.
Pictures provided by RMG.