Julian Never Pious Fiction

Mt. St. Mtn Records
17th February 2023

Format Info

LP - Lemon Colour Vinyl
Monorail Exclusive Lemon Yellow Vinyl
Fall in love with Julian Never, forever. Monorail Exclusive SIGNED Meyyer Lemon vinyl. Limited to 60 copies.
Julian Never’s jangle, all-chiming balladry power pop poetry is one of our favourite revelations in the past few months. Imagine an ever-yearning Stephen Merritt moonlighting from Magnetic Fields fronting The Byrds in the 80s with a glistening sheen of 3rd wave indie pop (Pains, Veronica Falls, all that crew). Full of heart and heat, Julian Never’s vocal is equipped with a turn of phrase reminding us a little of Jack Tatum of Wild Nothing but not afraid to bear his heart, allowing the vocal range to arch upwards into a delightful upper register.
Each song feels like a classic on Julian Never’s Pious Fiction, occupying the ground exactly in the middle of the likes of The Cure, Dwight Tilley and even The Smiths. Never is actually Julian Elorduy, Sacramento CA resident and former drummer of celebrated group MAYYORS. Smashed into a Tascam half-inch reel-to-reel his experimentation into Jangle manages to sound like nothing else while touching on any number of your favourite precedents. This debut feels assured and also bears all, less stylistically enthrall to the whole indie pop jangle canon, unafraid to sound in parts like a west coast Bunnymen or even OMD with some lush synths that sprinkle magic on tracks like Grassharp. Seven Steps has a charming C86 chord progression literally dripping with Roland Jazz Chorus guitar washes and a Elorduy baritone, laconic and gorgeous. “You take me higher” goes the line in response to a proclimation “we are not made out of stone,” it’s an anthem of emotional vulnerability in the face of modern living’s wearing down of the emotions, numbing us with experience and distraction. Come On (Now) has a groove that starts off all Stereolab before launching into the riotous stomper of a heartbroken dancer. Relax smacks of the 50s, with a Doo Wop guitar change before Elorduy seems to yank Jonathan Richman’s whole “thing” directly from 1976 and, as the song goes, “make things mine (his).”
Through out Pious Fiction a creative, effortless spirit takes charge. Classic chord changes and dynamic shifts are jump started with the electricity of a hungry heart and a unique new voice in the jangle jungle. What really elevates Pious Fiction is its disregard for convention in the admitedly tightly constrained genres Julian Never takes from. It’s all done with a loving, casual earnestness which is incredibly winning.
We love this record, and we think will too.