Girls And Richard Julian Both Need Attention

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Headstrong Pictures/
Norah Jones and Richard Julian in the Little Willies
Talking a streak at the edge of the bed
She looked like fresh piece of cake
Unable to get with the things that she said
I pretended I wasn't awake

Unless you have an ear to the New York folk underground or are one of those music fans who gets out a magnifying glass to read all the credits on albums, chances are you've never heard of Richard Julian. Hopefully Julian's latest release, Girls Need Attention (Compass Records), will broaden his visibility because it truly marks him as a talent deserving of wider fame.

Richard Julian, "Girls Need Attention"

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Todd Chalfant
A longtime player on the New York scene, if Julian is known to the general public at all, it is likely through Norah Jones' side project the Little Willies. Jones lent Julian her home studio for Girls Need Attention, and Julian certainly maximized artistically on Jones' generosity with an album that is quiet, thoughtful, playful, jagged and dark.

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LOM keeps returning to it, especially in the wee hours.

Julian is joined by Wilco guitarist Nels Cline on most of the tracks, as well as Houston-born Americana thrush Jolie Holland on box fiddle. The instrumentation on Attention is stellar, but Julian's songwriting and singing that are the real headliners here.

Rattled my bones
Circled like drones
Up in the eaves

Fans of Randy Newman's literate lyrics, sly delivery, and off-kilter arrangements should check out Julian. This one grows on you.

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