Feature: Juice Webster’s Diaristic Debut ‘JULIA’ Is Raw, Emotionally Charged, Cathartic & Exposed

Juice Webster © Ryan Kenny
Juice Webster © Ryan Kenny
Melbourne singer/songwriter Juice Webster takes us track-by-track through her visceral, cinematic, and dreamy debut album ‘JULIA,’ a raw and breathtakingly beautiful indie rock record pairing brooding melancholia with aching vocals and honest, unflinching lyrics.
Stream: “Headaches” – Juice Webster




Did I let you down? It’s a new phase, tryna find out where I’m going wrong…

Opening up Juice Webster’s JULIA is like diving into the middle of her diary.

The singer/songwriter imbued her debut album with her innermost thoughts and feelings, channeling raw emotions into even rawer music that aches from the inside out. This is her life in song, and we, her listeners, are front row to the full visceral, cinematic, dreamy experience.

JULIA - Juice Webster
JULIA – Juice Webster
Did I let you down?
It’s a new phase, tryna find out
Where I’m going wrong
‘Cause I try hard, I was raised to
Carry on for you
Like a pack horse, now I’m burnt out
But it’s nothing new
Like my headaches, I still feel it
Every other day
Every other day
Did I lead you on?
Yeah that was stupid, I’ll admit that
But I’m only one,
Yeah and it takes two to hurt like you
Punch me in the teeth,
I don’t need them, I’m not smiling
Think they call it grief,
And like my headaches I still feel it
– “Headaches,” Juice Webster

Released September 15, 2023 via Cohort, JULIA is a breathtakingly beautiful eruption from a busy head and a heavy soul. Following her 2019 EP You Who Was Myself and 2021’s More Than Reaction, Juice Webster’s debut album arrives as a fully realized reckoning bridging the indie folk and rock realms – a sonic diary blending the sounds and styles of Phoebe Bridgers, Gordi, Tom Iansek, and Angel Olsen into one churning, emotionally charged mélange. Pairing bold and brooding melancholia with honest, unflinching lyrics, the Naarm/Melbourne-based artist creates a space for us to connect with our vulnerable sides; the evergreen child within who feels with all their heart.

Juice Webster © Ryan Kenny
Juice Webster © Ryan Kenny



Been taking it easier,
But it’s hard, so hard.
They keep asking for Julia,
But she’s not in my heart.
Your hair has grown out so long,
And you look like a star,
I’ve been having some trouble, yeah,
But you’re here as you are
I don’t know what I’d do without you
Been picking some fights lately
And I lose every time,
Been dreaming of rust lately,
Is it all in my mind?
Your hair has grown out so long
And to me, you’re a star,
I’ve been having some trouble, yeah,
But you’re here as you are
I don’t know what I’d do without you
– “Without You,” Juice Webster

“This record was written over the course of a couple of years in sporadic productive bursts. At its core it explores uncertainty, the anticipation of loss, and grief for the past – notions and feelings that I’ve felt very tethered to since my childhood,” Webster tells Atwood Magazine. “I wrote most, if not all, of these songs from the couch with my guitar before recording them with a really special group of people at Alex O’Gorman’s studio in Pakenham Upper. I’ve been trying to make this record for a really long time, so it feels deeply surreal to be on the other side of it now.”

“By the time it came to recording the album, I had been playing a lot of these songs live with my band for some time,” she adds. “I really loved what each of my band members were bringing to the songs and it became important to me to try and capture this on the album in a way that allowed them all to do what they do best. I wanted the album to feel cohesive, while still granting myself the freedom to show my different styles of writing. I wanted big, cinematic moments to be contrasted with delicate, whispered moments, in a way that felt intuitive and human and true. I wanted to embrace imperfection, emotion, and directness.”

I’m wild in the way I’m not there,
My hair is falling out of my head,
I’m gonna shave it off so I’m bare
I watch you through a lens, like sunset,
I like my hair the best when it’s wet,
Reminds me of a place I’ll forget
I’m known to hesitate, I’m not sure,
At death there is a gate, I’m impure,
I’ll never make it through the front door
Can’t help but make mistakes, we’re learning
I miss you every day, I’m yearning,
But in his face is you, returning
– “Returning,” Juice Webster




Webster candidly describes her album as textural, direct, and emotional.

“I hope this album introduces me as an artist with a realised sound and voice,” she says. “It’s taken me a while to get to a point where I feel like my skills as a songwriter are intersecting with my tastes, but I think I finally arrived there on this record. Maybe I’ll change my mind about that, but for now I feel a sense of arrival – a deeper trust in myself and my writing and my music that’s taken a long time to cultivate.”

The album is intentionally self-titled – Webster’s birth name is Julia – “because it just feels like it’s everything that I am,” he explains. “I’ve been called Juice my whole life because my brother couldn’t say Julia when I was born. So, he called me Juice and it really stuck. When I finished the album, I loved the idea of bringing another element of my identity into the project, and it made sense to me to personify the record, as the music itself feels so true to who I am, kind of an extension of myself.”

From the overdriven unveiling “Returning” to the tender acoustic ballad “Waking Dream” and the brutally exposed love song “Without You,” JULIA is a gentle giant that hits hard and leaves a lasting mark – both on the ears and the heart.

“My favourite song is ‘Returning,’ but I think my favourite moment is the instrumental in ‘How Can I,’ Webster shares, highlighting her favorite three lyrics:

Punch me in the teeth, I don’t need them, I’m not smiling” – “Headaches”
Your hair has grown out so long and you look like a star” – “Without You”
I watch you through a lens, like sunset” – “Returning”



Juice Webster © Ryan Kenny
Juice Webster © Ryan Kenny



An intimate, impassioned upheaval from start to finish, JULIA is a dramatic and stunning introduction to one of Australia’s most promising new voice.

“I just want listeners to take whatever they need from it,” Webster shares. “Writing this album was very cathartic for me, and it’s a beautiful thing to have people connect with something that has come from a deeply personal place.”

Experience the full record via our below stream, and peek inside Juice Webster’s JULIA with Atwood Magazine as she goes track-by-track through the music and lyrics of her debut album!

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:: stream/purchase JULIA here ::
:: connect with Juice Webster here ::
Stream: ‘JULIA’ – Juice Webster



:: Inside JULIA ::

JULIA - Juice Webster

— —

Returning

When I wrote “Returning” I was finding it hard to stay present. I was thinking a lot about how I sometimes wish I could go back in time and really soak up moments from my past which ultimately turned out to be really significant and special to me. There’s a lot from my childhood that I cling to now, but that I know at the time didn’t seem important. And now all of a sudden I find myself down the road with this weight, yearning for these moments or people from my past, knowing that the only way through is forward.

In The Zone

“In The Zone” is about disconnection and anxiety. The confusion that comes when things are going one way and then suddenly the wind changes and you don’t know where you are anymore. Sometimes I find myself feeling so tired it’s as though I’m on one side of a sheer curtain and everything else is on the other side. I can see and hear what’s going on, but I’m not quite there, and I’m persevering, but I’m kind of struggling.

Black Coat, Black Skirt

“Black Coat, Black Skirt” is about the anticipation of absence, and the fear of losses that we know are ultimately inevitable. I wear a lot of black and I was trying to make a bit of a joke about how maybe I’m always in mourning, or prepared for mourning, like Johnny Cash. I find it hard to get over the past and time that I’ll never get back. Equally it’s a song about love; wanting to shield people I care about from pain.

Waking Dream

This one is still a bit of a mystery to me and I kind of like it that way. I think this is one that I’d prefer to leave open to interpretation for the most part… I’m speaking to a few different people here, all of whom I love deeply. I was thinking about the passing of time, and how wild it is to love people through the changes that come with it.

How Can I

This song is about when my mum was sick a number of years ago. She’s thankfully recovered, but the worry really lingered. I was so scared during that time and I had days where I felt really lost but ultimately had to soldier on. I love the recording of this song (shoutout to my incredible band). When I wrote it, I knew it had to have this huge moment that kind of offset the steadiness of the track until that point. It feels so tense but also so liberating to me. A good one to scream to.

Without You

Without You is just a good old fashioned love song I wrote when I was feeling a bit out of sorts. It’s cheesy as hell but whatever.

Headaches

Headaches is about feeling burnt out and under pressure. Sometimes I feel like I’m trying so hard but I’m still letting someone down and I find that hard to take. I suffer from migraines, and when I was younger they were especially relentless and frequent and would make me feel pretty low. This song is me kind of retrospectively lashing out against someone who was putting pressure on me to be someone I wasn’t ready to be at a time when I couldn’t handle it.

Among The Wires

This one’s about role reversals over time. How we move from being dependent to independent to having people depend on us. It’s also another one about being afraid to lose people, wanting to be the first cab off the rank so as not to have to deal with loss.

Two Hands

I wrote Two Hands at the start of the pandemic when no one really knew what was going on and it felt a bit like the world was ending. It’s about trying to find humor during dark times ‘cause otherwise we’ll just go mad.

All For You

All For You is about putting my feelings aside in an attempt to be the best version of myself I can be for the people I love. It’s about wanting to make people laugh and make them proud and make them dance, even when I feel not so good on the inside. I love closing the record on this note. To me it feels hopeful and optimistic.

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:: stream/purchase JULIA here ::
:: connect with Juice Webster here ::

— — — —

JULIA - Juice Webster

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? © Ryan Kenny

:: Stream Juice Webster ::



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