It’s difficult to imagine feeling more detached than finding yourself in a country whose language and culture could scarcely seem more alien. Spare a thought then for Julia Mascetti, a British musician for whom a short stay in Tokyo has extended to two years and counting. A short break has turned into an exchange of music, culture and stories between the Japanese people and Julia, reporting back in both blog form and musically.
Evoking feelings of, unsurprisingly enough, distance from home and longing, the first track from Julia’s EP, (In Distance, Everything is Poetry), is In Bloom, a disarmingly dark folk tale which is all spiders webs, glow worms and whispered somethings. This is all the more impressive as, though intricate and delicately embroidered, the instrumentation is so sparse – Julia’s harp is both comforting, yet chilling and her voice so pure, that it really does feel as if you are being tempted to stray from a familiar path to somewhere less…familiar.
Like Nick Cave and Tom Waits, this is all about the story-telling and the atmosphere, what is spoken being as emotional and affecting as the plaintive notes played. An exceptional track, it is the perfect introduction to an artist who could well be the guiding star to a new wave of British musicians who take the art of song-writing seriously and are brave enough to explore new areas and terrains both geographically and musically.