Julia Cannon is a Nashville-based artist who recently released a new album, Lack of Will. If you need something to calm your soul, and fill you with a warmth this cold season -- this is the album for you. We recently had the opportunity to ask Julia a few questions about her process and inspiration behind the album. Click to continue after the jump to learn more about Julia and to check out her music!
Artist: Julia Cannon
Album: Lack Of Will
Release date: November 18, 2017
Q: Firstly, your new album Lack of Will is so smooth and beautiful. I love the soft power that your voice has on these songs. If you had to pick one song off the album for everyone to listen to, which would it be and why?
A: If I had to choose one song for everyone to listen to, I think I would choose "The Talk". The concept for the album was to take all of these songs I had written throughout a 4-year-relationship and to organize them chronologically. It was the hardest song for me to write, and it's definitely the saddest. However, I think that everyone can relate to the exhaustion of working so hard to save something and then admitting defeat.
Q: I saw that you grew up in Alaska. How did you decide to make the move to Nashville, and what advice do you have for any artists who are considering relocating here?
A: Alaska has a really small community where everyone is connected somehow, and it's a small town mentality, even though it's a huge state. When I graduated from school in Boston, I was looking to move to another city that had a homey and quirky vibe to it. Portland, Oregon was on the list too, but I think that Nashville has such a warmth to it. I'm fairly new here myself, so my advice to anyone looking into it would be to just go for it. If you want a city with a supportive and quirky population, this is it!
Q: How long did it take to write and record the album? Talk me through a little bit of what the process looked like behind the creation of Lack of Will.
A: The recording for the album had been in the works for about a year and a half, but all of the songs except for the first track were written during the relationship. I moved from Boston to Philly to Nashville, and I recorded it a little bit in each state just with my home studio set-up. I sent out tracks to my band, changed my mind on arrangements a lot, rerecorded my vocals over and over, and decided that I hated everything like five times before I got the flow that I wanted.
It was incredibly cathartic. We ended on a good note and it was very mutual, so I felt the need to do the relationship justice -- to capture it as honestly as possible. I felt that the only way to get that done was to do it myself. I arranged, mixed, and mastered everything. It drove me insane, but I'm happy with the result. My whole heart and soul are in it.
Q: What instrument do you like to do most of your writing on? Do you start with lyrics or melody first?
A: I mostly reach for my acoustic guitar first. Usually a melody with words will come into my head, and then I'll run to my guitar to try to flesh it out. I have so many voice memos on my phone from me whispering a song idea on a train and hoping that I remember my plan for it later. I'm not an instrumentalist. I use instruments as tools to write songs and accompany myself, so it's usually words and melody first.
Q: I love the track "You Take Me" and all the harmonies. What was the inspiration behind this song?
A: "You Take Me" was kind of a last minute decision. I needed an interlude to break up the album in the middle so that I could transition between the light, happy beginning of the relationship into the darker half. I remembered that I had a garage band acapella thing on my phone that I had made while I was waiting for my ex to show up for a date that he was like 40 minutes late for. I was just sitting on the Charles river thinking about how tired I was of having to wait, and I sang the first things that came to mind. It was a tipping point for me so I decided to use it as the tipping point for the album as well.