MP3 Julie Vitells - The Goldenest Promise
All-girl trio sings delicate, smart and simple indie folk with Americana influences and complex harmonies.
13 MP3 Songs in this album (43:34) !
Related styles: COUNTRY: Americana, POP: Folky Pop
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In the autumn of 2007, Julie Vitells put down her banjo, picked up a
guitar, and wrote her first song. After a few more, her style emerged-
delicate, thoughtful and funny, drawing from influences such as
traditional Appalachian ballads and the anti-folk scene. Despite having
sworn never to let anyone hear her play, she reluctantly performed at
the annual Portland Old-Time Gathering Cabaret. In the wake of the
unexpected flood of compliments, she decided that playing for the
public wasn''t so bad after all. In the year since, Julie has enlisted
her sister, Sophie Vitells, violinist for Portland''s Do Jump! Theater,
Gov''t Issue Orchestra and San Francisco''s folk/Americana darlings The
Crooked Jades. They are joined by Karin Nystrom, a dear friend and
vocalist for Portland folk-rocker Huck Notari. These three make up the band
now called What Hearts. The trio has performed
regularly throughout the last year, packing the house at various
acoustic haunts and sharing the stage with Portland''s Hearts of Oak,
Dallas songwriter Kristy Kruger, and Brooklyn-based Benyaro. They have just released their first cd, "The Goldenest Promise".
Julie and Sophie hail from Albuquerque, NM and share their
Americana-influenced musical background. Sophie began studying violin
at the age of 7, playing klezmer, bluegrass, old-time and classical. In
high school, a family friend introduced Sophie and Julie to Portland''s
thriving old-time music scene. That summer, the sisters and two friends
formed the makeshift, all female Quarter-Ton Stringband and played
street corners up and down the west coast, hopping trains from town to
town. In the years that followed, the sisters were often to be found in
friends'' kitchens at all hours of the night, playing raucous
Appalachian tunes on banjo and fiddle. Sophie has traveled through the
south, meeting some of the genre''s most enduring figures and making a
splash at nationwide fiddle festivals as one of the west coast''s
youngest and finest. She is What Hearts'' drummer as well as their violinist.
Julie''s songs have been marked by those whiskey-soaked fiddle
tunes, but her lyrics are reflective of life in Portland in 2009,
rather than aiming to capture a bygone time. Karin, a honey-voiced
transplant from the howling winds of Minnesota, adds layers of
complexity with her seamless vocal and guitar harmonies. Above all, What Hearts'' songs are
honest, employing cynicism, humor, quirk and pathos to describe a human
condition that is completely relatable in its oddity and sadness.