From one of Glasgow’s finest acoustic-folk female four-pieces comes the brand new five track EP Diamonds. Exploring the highs and lows of relationships – the love, the loss, the friendship and companionship – Diamonds delivers songs which are easily accessible yet still carry a lot of depth, particularly in the ethereal melodies and Julia’s stunning vocals which draw you in and entrance you with their soothing, captivating ways.
Opener and title track Diamonds is about that strong leap of faith that you take with love. It’s soothing yet bold as the band offer a nice steady background behind Julia’s vocals which remain central throughout the EP. If Diamonds is the story of “boy meets girl and they both fall in love”, then Those Things is the sequel: “girl loves boy but the feeling isn’t quite mutual”. However, it’s far from your typical down-in-the-dumps break up song, it’s actually very light and sweet. Well, bittersweet.
Next, what started off as an attempt by Julia to write a catchy song for a mobile phone advert instead became Answer. With its soft piano melodies and vocal harmonies, Answer is a nice little cheerful number about being there for a friend and offering to listen to their thoughts and problems.
Bound is another captivating number which will have an instant lulling and soothing effect on any listener. Once again, it explores that fear of giving your heart to someone but then finally letting your guard down and letting them in. The soft acoustic guitar complements the dulcet piano melodies as Julia’s vocals grow ever more enthralling.
Final track Down The Line is, like Answer, about being there for a friend in need, letting them know that they’re not alone. It’s a great little pick-me-up song because, as well as the encouraging lyrics, the music also makes you feel good. Especially glockenspiel. That always makes everything better.
But what’s great about this EP and Julia And The Doogans’ music in general is that it’s so easily accessible. Both the lyrics and music maintain a certain depth without becoming too complex and, more importantly, they possess that human touch meaning anyone can relate (especially to the lyrics) and be made to feel something.
Diamonds is released 16th April, but you can get an early copy at the launch show on 13th April.
Review by Nina Glencross