A sultry, folk-country style song with a great story, ‘Cannonball’, from Julia King will put you in mind of such singers as Linda Rondstadt, Marianne Faithfull, Patsy Cline, and even Sheryl Crow.
The track, released last month, tells the story of a woman who realises that the man she’s been seeing doesn’t come up to scratch: she’s way too much for him; “I need a man just as crazy as me”. As she tells him that the relationship is going to have to end, you get the feeling that he knows what’s coming, but at the same time, it’s impossible not to feel a little bit sorry for the guy. The laid back, instrumental belies the hard hitting lyrics – to an extent King’s vocals also catch us off guard – if only to start with. The “cannonball” in the song, is of course, a metaphorical representation of the singer herself, “a late night sequin queen made of fire and kerosene just bound to blow”.
Growing up on a farm on Long Island, Julia King was fed a diet of her father’s Motown and classic rock, while her grandmother played Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday, and Patsy Cline. She discovered a deep love for music, and found herself swept away by the likes of Smokey Robinson, and Van Morrison. But although she loved music, she didn’t seek it out as a career in the beginning, and rather at first followed her parents’ advice, and earned her degree in Exercise Science at Belmont University, Nashville, affording her the opportunity to hang out in recording studios with friends who studied audio engineering. Moving to New York City for work, she recalled fondly these memories, and reignited her musical dreams. She had learned a lot about songwriting while in Nashville, and started writing more in New York, and began perfoming at open mics. Finally she bit the bullet and exchanged her exercise industry career for one as a sommelier, meaning she could follow her musical path. ‘The Morning After’ EP was released in 2016, and followed by the single ‘One Way Ticket To Somewhere’, out earlier this year.
Julia’s voice is clearly full of passion – there’s a sense that she feels heavily every single word she sings. Speaking of her music she says,
“I was always a singer and musical theater kind of gal. My dad and grandmother were huge music lovers and very influential in my life in that way. Developing my vibe has been a lifelong process, and it differs depending the mood of the song – which really explains the overall moodiness of my work. I’ve always written from the heart. Song and performance have always been a coping mechanism for me, or a way I felt I could express my emotions most clearly. Each song to me has its own life, its own story to tell. So my goal when writing is to communicate the depth and color of whatever story I am telling.”