Beyond Fur Patrol

By Paula Yeoman

Praise from fans and critics, and a Silver Scroll nomination are making it a good year for Julia Deans. Photo / Supplied
Praise from fans and critics, and a Silver Scroll nomination are making it a good year for Julia Deans. Photo / Supplied

She Has been the face and voice of Fur Patrol for more than 10 years. Now Julia Deans has branched out with a stunning debut solo album, Modern Fables.

It comes on the back of last year's A New Dialogue and two tours - all part of the master plan to slowly but surely reveal the new Julia Deans.

"It was a way of re-introducing myself as a solo performer as opposed to 'Julia from Fur Patrol'. I felt it was important to try and delineate," she says of the gradual way in which she's eased new songs upon her Kiwi fans.

Although the singer's lone offerings are still tinged with the Fur Patrol sound, there's something distinctly different here. There's less rock; more acoustic guitar and Deans' exquisite vocals shine like never before.

Melbourne-based Deans says that's partly because the songs were written on an acoustic guitar - a stripped-back sound she wanted to maintain on the album. She also knew that when it came to playing live, it'd be down to just her and her guitar.

"Most of the time I'd be touring by myself and I didn't want the gigs to be too strong a departure from how the album sounded," she explains.

She admits to having felt scared and lonely at times. "The most terrifying thing was that I had no back up. Having to make decisions for myself and not having Simon [Braxton, drummer] and Andrew [Bain, bassist] to confer with was actually really daunting. So was getting on a plane by myself!" she says.

But now that Deans has had time to find her feet, she's reaping the rewards.

Her new music has been met with praise from fans and critics alike. And before the album was even out, she'd earned a nomination for this year's Silver Scroll Awards with the song A New Dialogue.

And she's got one big favour to ask of her fans - just buy the album.

"I hope that every person in New Zealand from age 0 to 105 goes and buys a copy."

*Julia Deans' debut solo album Modern Fables is in stores now. You can also catch her live at the Monte Cristo Room in Auckland on Saturday, August 14.

- Herald on Sunday

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