You want illumination

Julia Deans, We Light Fire tour.

Julia Deans, We Light Fire tour.

LIGHT AND SHADE: From fronting Fur Patrol’s muscular pop-rock to electro-pop stylings with Tiki Taane; from co-conspirator with supergroup The Adults to chanteuse with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, former Fur Patrol frontwoman Julia Deans is all about light and shade. In her album We Light Fire she brings both. Deans is pictured here in a Tanya Carlson dress. Carlson and Julia became friends at Anika Moa’s wedding and hit it off. Carlson’s designs for Deans include the coat/dress combo the artist where’s in her video for Walking In The Sun. Pictures by Mareea Vegas

Clandestine, the opening track to Julia Deans’ most recent album We Light Fire opens with a slow, Twin Peaksy pulse, hits a soft bass drop then lifts off into the hymnal chorus. The mood continues though in the Celtic-folky, acoustic guitar driven title song, We Light Fire, whose lyrics get a little mystical and suggests the presence of muses or anima mundi.

“We’re here today with hearts of flame/ We light fire and calm you down/ Another year in a circle around the sun.”

The title of Deans’ album is the opposite of the dark poetry and offer of absolute nihilism in Leonard Cohen’s song You Want It Darker.

Deans’ songs on We Light Fire range from folksy through balladry to sugar-rimmed pop-funk with moments of ethereality.

This isn’t music you put on to do the vacuuming to. Washing dishes, maybe. The lyricism, introspection and vulnerability in We Light Fire could be best listened to on headphones, but the intimacy of the former Fur Patrol frontwoman’s music is just as suited to the ambience of the Dome Room which is where Deans and her band perform next week.

“People relate to honesty and freshness in music,” says Deans.

“You have to sing about what you know.

“Music that provides layers you can listen to reveals more. Most of my favourite music is what has grown on me.”

A consistent atmosphere is felt in We Light Fire but are the songs linked by a defining theme?

“It wasn’t intentional at the time but by the end of the collection there’s a thread that holds them together. That is about connecting, connection and the need for communication to recognise wider humanity,” says Deans.

“There is so much noise in the world with social media, media and consumerism. Everyone’s having their say. It’s like there’s a whole lot of people standing on a soapbox and shouting at each other.

“We need to listen and connect.”

We Light Fire feels like a natural progression from Deans’ previous album Modern Fables, she says.

“I lived with depression for a year or so. Modern Fables was about working through all that and acknowledging it was happening and picking myself out of a leaning on my friends and letting that happen and acknowledging that.”

With We Light Fire, Deans made a conscious effort to see not just what was going on in her own head but what was going on in New Zealand and in the world.

Made up of singer-guitarist Deans, Natalia Sheppard on keyboard and vocals, drummer Jono Sawyer and bass guitarist Richie Pickard, the band will be joined by Reb Fountain (who also tours here with The Chills in September).

  • Julia Deans, We Light Fire tour, the Dome Room, August 10, 7.30pm. Tickets $40+bfs from The Aviary, UnderTheRadar and Ticketmaster.

Clandestine, the opening track to Julia Deans’ most recent album We Light Fire opens with a slow, Twin Peaksy pulse, hits a soft bass drop then lifts off into the hymnal chorus. The mood continues though in the Celtic-folky, acoustic guitar driven title song, We Light Fire, whose lyrics get a little mystical and suggests the presence of muses or anima mundi.

“We’re here today with hearts of flame/ We light fire and calm you down/ Another year in a circle around the sun.”

The title of Deans’ album is the opposite of the dark poetry and offer of absolute nihilism in Leonard Cohen’s song You Want It Darker.

Deans’ songs on We Light Fire range from folksy through balladry to sugar-rimmed pop-funk with moments of ethereality.

This isn’t music you put on to do the vacuuming to. Washing dishes, maybe. The lyricism, introspection and vulnerability in We Light Fire could be best listened to on headphones, but the intimacy of the former Fur Patrol frontwoman’s music is just as suited to the ambience of the Dome Room which is where Deans and her band perform next week.

“People relate to honesty and freshness in music,” says Deans.

“You have to sing about what you know.

“Music that provides layers you can listen to reveals more. Most of my favourite music is what has grown on me.”

A consistent atmosphere is felt in We Light Fire but are the songs linked by a defining theme?

“It wasn’t intentional at the time but by the end of the collection there’s a thread that holds them together. That is about connecting, connection and the need for communication to recognise wider humanity,” says Deans.

“There is so much noise in the world with social media, media and consumerism. Everyone’s having their say. It’s like there’s a whole lot of people standing on a soapbox and shouting at each other.

“We need to listen and connect.”

We Light Fire feels like a natural progression from Deans’ previous album Modern Fables, she says.

“I lived with depression for a year or so. Modern Fables was about working through all that and acknowledging it was happening and picking myself out of a leaning on my friends and letting that happen and acknowledging that.”

With We Light Fire, Deans made a conscious effort to see not just what was going on in her own head but what was going on in New Zealand and in the world.

Made up of singer-guitarist Deans, Natalia Sheppard on keyboard and vocals, drummer Jono Sawyer and bass guitarist Richie Pickard, the band will be joined by Reb Fountain (who also tours here with The Chills in September).

  • Julia Deans, We Light Fire tour, the Dome Room, August 10, 7.30pm. Tickets $40+bfs from The Aviary, UnderTheRadar and Ticketmaster.
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