Here is a video, song and vibe that will make you smile. Upbeat, melodic and infused with positive energy, Wisconsin-based Julia Blair’s new single creates the urge to dance, just as she does through the streets, alone and with her friends. Directed by Arthur Kohl-Riggs, the quirky video is an uplifting delight to watch, transmitting joy to viewers. Though it’s a tuneful foot-tapping song, ‘Relax’ delivers an important feminist message. Speaking up for those who may feel disempowered, Blair’s direct words urge us to stand up, answer back and not allow someone to suppress or quiet us: “And I tell you one thing that I don’t // I don’t want to relax // I don’t want to take a seat…but I see how you treat my friends // And I know where you’ve been // So don’t tell me to relax.” Memorable music, great energy and a powerful theme, the soulful folk-pop of ‘Relax’ is an excellent introduction to Julia Blair’s songs.
Blair has enjoyed success with experimental folk collective Holy Sheboygan! and with country rockers Dusk. Now, she’s setting out in her own and ‘Relax’ is the first single from her debut solo album, ‘Better Out Than In’, which is due for release on 24th February 2022. Of recording the album, Blair says: “‘Better Out Than In’ was produced over the course of three years at our in-house studios at the Crutch Of Memory compound in Appleton, Wisconsin – in the heart of the ‘Fox River Valley’. Crutch of Memory was established several years ago, mostly as a private studio for the creative output of members of Dusk and Tenement. Since then, it’s taken on its own identity as a record label and destination recording studio. This album is the second release on our flagship series. Our goal is to establish a catalogue of artists and material that we’re heavily involved and invested in creatively; through song-writing, arranging, performing, and recording. We bring our favourite artists to our neck of the woods and let them swim in our pond, so to speak. Our hope is to bring out what we love most in these artists, and in the process, insert what makes us unique as musicians, songwriters, and producers as well. What we hold important is that we make great records and capture our own individual acoustic: what one could call The Fox River Valley Sound.”
Look out for the new album and, in the meantime, enjoy ‘Relax’.