Juliet Quick wants to place as little space between herself and her audience as possible. The Brooklyn-based songwriter specializes in earnest, plainspoken beauty — songs that reveal an unexpected vulnerability and an often weary perspective on the world in which we live. Her voice is unimaginably strong while also conveying a deep sense of forlorn acceptance. There’s something almost mesmeric about the way she ascribes grace within the details of her own experiences and thoughts.
On her upcoming EP Glass Years, she surrounds herself with stray bits of guitar, some orchestral flourishes, synths that find comfort deep in your body, and traces of lap steel that highlight the fragility and despair inherent to some of the heavier topics covered across the record — including narratives that reckon with climate terror, misogyny in all its forms, intense introspection, and holding on tightly to whatever hope you can find.
On her new single “Circles”, she orchestrates an entire world from these various sounds, constructing a compelling vision of indie-folk and burnished pop adaptation through scenes of depression and a sense of lost purpose. As an acoustic guitar rises and falls around her voice, we slowly begin to hear the details creeping in from our periphery: strings shiver and move to fully envelop you while echoing percussion seems to boom from miles away. It all feels so rapturous even as she reveals the dark thoughts that are constantly weighing her down and which fill her with doubt. But there is some release here, a bit of light that can’t be snuffed out — it’s ashen and shrouded in shadow but grows as the song continues to reverberate in our head and heart.
“‘Circles’ is about filtering out the feedback of others and just living inside yourself,” she explains, “even if that isn’t always the easiest place to be. I have trouble doing that—I have had this lifelong compulsion to be perceived as ‘good,’ even to people who I don’t think are ‘good!’ The particular kind of depression I was in when I wrote this song, though, gave me some relief from that at times. It was much more difficult to care about pleasing people. There are a handful of external voices that appear in the song—advice-givers, pedantic men, crust punks—who are kind of gently ignored. It is definitely a sad song but it is also about freedom.”
Juliet Quick’s new EP Glass Years is due March 5 via Substitute Scene Records. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.