Broken collarbone leads to artist’s big break
But is it too soon?
Who knew that breaking one’s collarbone could be the ticket to fame? Hop on your nearest vintage motorcycle and squeeze the throttle. That’s what the 18 year-old singer/songwriter Julia Brennan did one day during the summer of 2016.
Brennan used her recovery time following her surgery to get her previously written songs, one of which was “Inner Demons”, out for the world to appreciate. Brennan posted her tracks onto Youtube and sent them off to local pop radio stations to get some public feedback.
Then the artist started to receive calls from some people very interested in her music.
The fall after her accident, Brennan had moved on from her accident. Literally. She moved into the dorms at the University of Minnesota for her freshmen year of college. But just days after her first class, Brennan had been contacted to sign a recording contract with Columbia Records.
“It kind of happened almost too quickly for me to think about it,” Brennan said in a press release. She felt as if these changes in her life happened in a “whirlwind”.
However, I don’t see what the rush was for.
The track “Inner Demons” is receiving some attention, in less than a month the official video for the song has over 400,000 plays on Youtube. But the track has the same exact components as any other “artist” trying to make it: repetitive words and rhythms, the use of rhyme, the standard chorus, verse, chorus arrangement.
While Brennan does have nice vocal control, she may have gotten such a nice voice from singing along to some of her favorite artists. Brennan said, “I love Adele and I’m a huge admirer of Sam Smith’s singing style.” Brennan offers strong vocal range on the track, a nice full head voice, a strong falsetto, the ability to seamlessly change pitch and tone.
However, this alone doesn’t make it clear how the artist sign a recording deal in less than 6 months while some artists that are bringing fresh new things to the music scene- things like emotive, elaborate lyrics; strong visual images; interesting developed figurative language, similes or metaphors to make the audience think- must wait years to even get a glimpse of the spotlight.
“Inner Demons” does have a great message. The song took root from a situation close to Brennan’s life, focusing on a friend’s experiences with deep family issues. “I would always try to comfort her,” Brennan said. “And then feel bad that I couldn’t do more. We all have demons. This song says it’s okay that you’re not feeling okay, sometimes we have to admit things are hard and we need help.”
Although the message is strong, the lyrics could accomplish it with more creativity, more style. Less repetition (in the course of the 3-and-a-half minute song, the words “angles” and “demons” are sung at least fourteen times each).
We must give Julia credit where it is due, she does that many young, emerging artists no longer do, she writes her own music. The initial three songs she sent of to radio stations were self produced. She does have an understanding of musicianship. She isn’t afraid to let the public tune into her dark moments, stating“I write what I write because I know what it feels like to hurt. Yes, I’m only 18 and I haven’t been through the magnitude of what other’s have been through, but I know what it feels like to hurt. And I know what it feels like to see people hurt and not able to do anything about it.”
Maybe, that is what we need to keep in mind, Brennan is only 18. So while these songs might have been released a little early, it is still early in Brennan’s career. There is time for growth and development of the raw talent in “Inner Demons”.