Together with composer Veronika Hanl and a team of artists, Julia Romana has created a piece of work imbued with a powerful, corporeal energy that places itself firmly in the lineage of great feminine outsider art.
‘Seasons’ echoes the slinky blues growl of Rid of Me-era PJ Harvey or Patti Smith and the bodily confessions of Tori Amos or Aimee Mann; the title track a skittish, doomy bass arpeggio of The Eraser-era Thom Yorke. Album centrepiece ‘Moon’ has the Lalo Schifrin-inspired shadowy trip-hop atmospherics of Portishead at their haunted cabaret peak. There’s even a nod to Charlotte Church’s (excellent) experimental electronic phase, on the multi-layered ballad ‘See Her’. These disparate lines are pulled together by the depth of Romana’s multi-tracked layering vocals, and the dark, dreamy feel of the arrangements’ looping and slipping – dropping occasional dissonant notes and off-time beats that give the short album a slightly unsettled feel, a little edge of discomfort in the sensuality and beauty.
Working with director Laura Manners and choreographer Weronika Szczerek, the all-female team have created a series of visuals to accompany the album, inspired by horror classics. The blood-soaked 70s movies of Argento and The Blair Witch Project all add to the general off-kilter opulence of Romana’s crepuscular dreamscapes. A seductive, blood-drenched dream of an album that draws the listener in like Lady March in The Lair of The White Worm, sinking in her fangs when it’s too late to escape.
Blood Be Fluid is out now