Since her simultaneous debut/breakthrough alongside James Holden on the long ascribed classic ‘Nothing’, Julie Thompson has never been far from the minds & hearts of electronic music’s most discerning. She’s been the voice/front-woman on hits from a wide range of producers, Tiësto, the Freemasons, Sean Tyas and the Freestylers to name but a few. Through tracks like ‘My Enemy’, ‘No Frontiers’ and ‘Let Go’ she’s also notably become the vocal-muse/go-to-girl for Finnish high-fliers Super8 & Tab. Bringing her gifted lyricism and soul-sear vocals to the broadest possible spectrum of electronic dance music, Julie’s catalogue has come to encompass house, trance, progressive, dubstep, breakbeat, electro and many nexuses in between.
Now, five years after she first made the jump with the ‘Feeling For Corners’ album, Julie is once again crossing the threshold to assume the solo artist role.
Over 11 sensational tracks, written and recorded over the last 20 months, the British singer has crafted the follow-up that fans from across the electronic music lands have long sought. ‘Eye Of The Storm’ has all the expressive introspection, from-the-soul vocals, story-tell lyrics and absorbing metaphor of a singer without contemporary, all approached with her no-stylistic-borders methodology.
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More through nature than design, Julie’s debut album is one that’ll spark the broadest range of emotions… Uplifting, touching and meditative, it is also by turns creative, organic and at times bold, to the point of audacious. On completing the album, she said: A friend once said to me ‘when you hit rock bottom there’s only sand beneath your feet” and it was from this place that I began to write the songs that would eventually become Eye of the Storm. This album represents transition. How light is born from darkness, how love is born from loss and how stillness comes from the most chaotic of places. I hope you enjoy this album!
The vocally sanguine overture of ‘New Day’, the floor-engagement of Super8 & Tab collab ‘Your Secret’s Safe’ and ‘We Are Stars’ unchecked uplift collectively summon the ‘Eye’s storm at pace. Expanding its style, ‘Fortune Smiles’ conveys atmospherically bleached out synths and speedily paced, running riffs, which are smartly played off against Julie’s lyrical infiltration. ‘My Paradise’ meanwhile brings EDM dimensions to the album, while ‘Loved’ front-ends with bleepy echo-ism, pays off with a rippingly riffed leadline and is bound together by her vocal optimism.
With stylistic contrast, the album transcends again with the bliss-fest of ‘Dive’ and the slo-mo breaks and chanteuse-ian lament of ‘Freeze’. At the midpoint, alongside London-based twosome Pyramid, Julie brings downtempo dubstep, breakbeat & electro aspects to the album, delivering both its titular and tangible eye of the storm.
Grafting ever more layers, deeper, more trance-progressive textures come virtue of ‘Natural’ with Ad Brown, while the bittersweet Andy Duguid-produced ‘Skin & Bones’ induces a cooler edged anthemia.
As polished as it is accomplished, admirably far-reaching and allowing her incredible songwriting abilities and extraordinary vocal range full reign, ‘Eye Of The Storm’ delivers on the first great electronic music artist album of 2015.
The United Kingdom has established a reputation over the past decades to deliver stunning vocalists and singer/songwriters in all possible genres, and Julie Thompson is no exception to this unwritten rule. The ability to write and sing atmospheric lyrics and warm vocals seems to be the perfect antidote for the UK’s cold, gloomy and rainy climate, as proven over the years especially in high profile dance releases.
Norwich born and bred Julie already knew she had music running through her veins at a young age. Upon reaching her 14th birthday, young Julie began singing, writing songs and playing the piano, and rapidly taught herself the art of singing and song-writing. To get a better shot at making a living from music, Julie moved to London to follow her dream of being a part of the exciting circus named ‘the music industry’.
After meeting up with London producer James Holden, who already had gained substantial fame for his instantly-recognizable ethereal progressive house style, this dream soon became reality. As Holden & Thompson they produced the instant classic “Nothing” in 2003, released on Fatboy Slim’s imprint Loaded/Skint; hard evidence proving the UK had given birth to yet another fantastic top liner. ‘Nothing’ found its way onto an impressive pile of compilations like Global Underground (mixed by Deep Dish), Politics of Dancing (mixed by Paul van Dyk), Gatecrasher Immortal (mixed by Matt Hardwick), Spundae (mixed by Ferry Corsten), A State of Trance and many more.
A year later, Julie had the opportunity to write for British act Freestylers, who enjoyed worldwide fame with their chart hit ’Push Up’. For their artist album ‘Raw As F**k’, Julie delivered the top line and sung on the album tracks ‘Losing You’ and ‘Too Far’, resulting in a year and a half of studio-absence to tour with Freestylers around Europe and South East Asia. This tour, which took Julie to the biggest festivals such as Glastonbury and V Festival, was only briefly interrupted for Julie to produce the follow up to ‘Nothing’ with James Holden. Their second Holden & Thompson single, ‘Come To Me’, hit the streets in 2005, again released on Loaded.
In 2006, Julie teamed up with Alan Bremner and wrote ‘Last Goodbye’ under the ‘Attic’ alias, released on Audio Therapy, a label run by Dave Seaman. All doors which normally remain firmly closed for the latter of all aspiring and ambitious vocalists, suddenly opened up for Julie and it seemed that the sky was the only limit she could encounter. That same year, the last fictional door opened when the vocal qualities of Julie were spotted by the reigning # 1 DJ on the planet that year, the renowned Tiësto, who approached her to collaborate. The result: the track “Do You Feel Me” which became one of the tracks to reach Tiesto’s highly successful album ‘Elements of Life’, released in 2007.
As an unexpected bonus, Julie was asked to join the Elements Of Life world tour to perform her amazing vocal skills live for an audience of hundreds of thousands. Whilst on tour, Julie teamed up with Tiësto again to write and record “Somewhere Inside”, under the ‘Allure ft. Julie Thompson’ guise. This track made it to the final, very strict selection of tracks for Tiësto’s In Search Of Sunrise Volume 6 and received a full single release on Black Hole Recordings in February 2008. The official release included a remix by Scottish talent Andy Duguid, a producer who was about to become an important and significant factor in the future career of Julie Thompson.
Not aiming to be stigmatized purely as a trance vocalist, Julie expanded her territory and collaborated with UK house producers Freemasons in 2007 on ‘You’re Not Alone Now’ for Freemasons’ album ‘Shakedown’. Whereas Julie’s vocals can be very sensitive and more than often gives the effect of translucence, or clubby as heard in the Freemasons collaboration, Julie definitely can rock electro style as well. Her versatility is perfectly shown on Andy Duguid’s album ‘Believe’ as she delivers her vocals to three album tracks in different degrees: the emotive progressive track ‘Falling’, the tender ballad ‘White Sands’ and the eighties-influenced electro rocker “My Number” as her alter ego Donna – Julie’s middle name -, which will give the ‘older’ listener an immediate craving for the mid eighties.
Whilst on the Elements Of Life tour, a little seed was planted in Julie’s head by her current label Black Hole Recordings that perhaps it was time to concentrate on making a solo album. The better part of 2008 and the first months in 2009, Julie devoted herself to writing amazing songs which would display her qualities not only as a lyricist and a vocalist, but especially as a matured, fully developed artist standing on her own two feet. Writing and singing for the upper class of artists, and the performances for an immense audience which followed, gave Julie the necessary experience to take the next leap into this new adventure as a solo artist. The whole album will be co-produced by the man who already got labelled ‘Producer Of The Year 2008’ by Tiësto, Andy Duguid.
Julie Thompson surrounded herself with the best possible team imaginable: one of the most talented producers the scene has ever seen, a worldly acclaimed record label and the back-up of one of the biggest DJ stars on the planet. When combined with Julie’s impeccable voice and writing expertise, the circus called ‘music industry’ is definitely in for a treat!