Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Indie Music: Julia Pratt, "Tried and True"

by Germar Derron

Julia Pratt's "Tried and True" begins in a way that announces it will not disappoint you. First, there's an intriguing bass line. Then quickly, a 10/10 vocal materializes over a somewhat melodic piano. That voice has proximity, sweetness, and texture that mirrors today's top vocals. Even sans headphones, you feel the Tr blend of "tried and true"--the opening lyrics--tickle your outer ear. And that simple, yet powerful, beginning completely betrays the rest of the track.

Sonically, this entire song sits right next to perfection. That standard applies to both the production and the mix. There are layers upon layers of instruments, vocals, moving lines, sustained notes, parallels . . . . . And this mix, even as a mixing engineer, made me better understand mixing.

The mix sits so well because it doesn't sound like a good engineer digitally faded, compressed, and equalized. It sounds like many amazing artists sat in a room and played their instruments together. And after perfecting the performance, they invited us in.

I understand why some may call this indie, alternative, or some type of pop sub-genre. And I understand that those categorizations do not diminish what this is. But I hesitate to determine the style of this song because the one thing it is for sure is radio-ready. 

Pratt says that "'Tried and True' was my attempt to articulate the internal monologue running through someone's mind during their last moments." As someone who's experienced their last moments, the piano here mimics that feeling. It's not necessarily a feeling of melancholy. It's definitely not a fun or hopeful feeling. There was no white light. It felt unending. It felt repetitive. "Tried and True" captures that while also stacking layers of things unsaid, warmth, love, hope, apologies, and yes sadness too.

This is a monster of a track.


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