“I deleted the original lyrics because it was like, a lovey song, which was completely made up. So why am writing about that? It’s stupid. I’m not gonna do that…until it happens…I’m not writing about it. So dumb.”
These are the opening words spoken on independent artist Julia Wolf’s new EP: Girls In Purgatory. Without even hearing a note, I’m sure you can take a guess at the subject matter on the album. The six-track EP (including two six-second interludes) explores themes of love (or lack thereof), gender norms, and the intricacies of accepting our own damaging behavior.
Wolf, who has been releasing music since 2019, was initially discovered after posting various snippets of her music on social media. These “freestyles” that Julia posted (more on our Q&A from earlier this year here), were results from various writing sessions with producer and artist Jackson Foote (1/2 of the musical duo Loote). The collaboration continues on Girls In Purgatory—Foote has writing and production credits on each track.
The opening words I mentioned in the first paragraph sum up the first track, “Falling In Love.” The song is a cynical take on the idea of finding “the one” and the idea that women are bitches if they turn down someone’s advances: a concept that has, repeatedly in real life, turned violent for women.
“I say ‘I just wanna dance’ and you call me a bitch / You gotta be joking: it’s about time I leave now…acting like I owe you / How the fuck I owe you? / I don’t even know you” The music video just dropped: check it out below:
The attitude of this song reminds me a lot of something we could have heard from Lorde during her early days as a musician: it honestly feels like it could have been a song on Pure Heroine (based on lyrics): definitely not the R&B-esque vibe that Julia embodies.
The second track, “Nikes,” is arguably my favorite off the album that’s a non-single. Julia describes the internal struggle of maintaining interest in a romantic partner without being distracted or disconnecting. The subject matter in this song is the most interesting to me because I feel like Julia, who has already done such an incredible job at singing about emotions that all people (but in my opinion, women specifically), try to untangle, analyze, and accept without judging or criticizing ourselves. Should we really feel obligated to do anything we are just not ~feeling~? (“Why am I so selfish, I feel guilt for not feeling guilty“).
Another highlight from the EP is the previously-released single “Resting B*tch Face: Part 2″—a song Julia and I chatted about in our previous Q&A.
“RBF: Part 2” explains parts of myself not everyone understands off the bat. People like to blame a “Resting Bitch Face” for the reasons why it’s so hard to approach me or why I’m not the best at making new friends, but I’m not going to apologize for the ways people perceive what is actually just shyness. So many girls can relate to being shy and being told they look standoffish, or are hard to talk to, but we shouldn’t have to change ourselves for the sake of pleasing someone else’s ego!“
Like I wrote in that previous story, Julia has an uncanny ability to sing in a way that her music sounds like it’s being recorded as a freestyle, in one take, singing off the pages of an imaginary diary entry. This is hugely evident in the song “Checkmate,” a song that will if nothing else, will certainly make you feel incredibly powerful.
In the opening track on Girls In Purgatory, Julia sings about being unavailable and uninterested in any sort of romantic connection being proposed on her: not letting it happen whatsoever. The closing track is like the other book end of this narrative: what happens if and when she does give in to feelings and what happens when they backfire and cause harm to a relationship. The song, which clocks in at three minutes and six seconds (it happens to be the longest on the project), is certainly the most emotional in the traditional sense of the word: “we had feelings for each other, we hurt teach other, I told you I couldn’t do this!” That sort of thing.
“I assume the best in people, then I get the worst / I bend over backwards, then I catch the damage first / I am not a bitch cause you’re the one that’s gotten hurt / told you I don’t fuck with romance, cause it never works”
Julia Wolf is playing a string of shows later this month – tap here for more info.