Regardless of which emotion is stirred, you’ll find her unique voice and lyrics to be remarkably expressive. Clark’s second full-length CD of all-original material, Change Your Mind, is crystal clear – both in terms of Clark’s vivid lyrics and the pristine sonic quality of the recording itself. You can see straight to the bottom of its sparkling pool of widely diverse emotions. From the ebullient hopefulness of the opening track “Change Your Mind” to the raucous fun of “I’d Do ‘Em All (if I could),” Clark’s songwriting addresses a broad range of human experience with surprising honesty and insight. Throughout Change Your Mind, Clark sings of love in its many forms, such as the poignant hope of restoring closeness with a sibling in “Growin’ Up” and an intense longing to be desired romantically in “Jacket.” “Despite the different tones and themes,” Clark says, “all the songs on Change Your Mind share an underlying theme of hope.
They all speak to the strength and resiliency of our dreams and desires.” Clark’s personal story is one of radical transformation. It’s hard to imagine now, but for much of her life Clark weighed 200 pounds more than she does today. Few artists have undergone such a profound physical and emotional change. Her lifelong struggle with obesity, and her ultimate success, have forever shaped her music and view of the world. Some songs in this new sophomore collection reveal extraordinary vulnerability.
“If it Weren’t for That” is a crushing firsthand recollection of the shame of growing up with a weight problem – shared in stark, unadorned simplicity. Clark’s risk is your reward, though it may come as a bit of a shock to realize you’ve entered into completely unprotected reaches of her heart. The experience of hearing Clark’s songs is both powerful and intense – stirring yet soothing. Change Your Mind (released by Great Big Records on January 13, 2009) was recorded with a distinct reverence for the songs themselves. Production assistance from Robert Ulsh and John Toomey focused on supporting the words and meaning of each story with no unnecessary elements.
Clark invited renowned musicians such as Stephen Bennett, John Toomey, Powell Randolph, Bill Gurley, Jimmy Masters and Tom Jones to help illuminate the significance of each song. Clark first committed her songcraft to disc on her debut CD Feel Free (Great Big Records, 2003). Despite the many songwriting awards bestowed on Feel Free, her continued development as a songwriter is evident throughout Change Your Mind, proving that the intervening time was very well spent. The disc is rich in wordplay, such as the darkly ironic humor in her song about the death of Superman: “The funeral was today / The Super Friends were all super-busy / and though they couldn’t come / The Super Friends were super-bummed.” Clark has garnered considerable acclaim as an emerging artist. Her many accolades include winning the Kerrville New Folk Songwriting Competition (adding her name to a list of luminaries that includes Lyle Lovett, Steve Earle, Nanci Griffith and Shawn Colvin); winning 1st Place in the Great American Song Contest; and being named Folk/Acoustic Artist of the Year at the Virginia Music Awards.
From her home base in Norfolk, Virginia, Clark maintains a busy national touring schedule of performances at premiere festivals and clubs such as The Barns of Wolftrap in Vienna, Virginia and The Michigan Womyn's Music Festival and The Art House Theater in Provincetown, Massachusetts. “I love it when people are moved by songs I’ve shared with them,” Clark explains. “That human connection is what keeps me going. It keeps me driving long distances and striving to reach my true potential as an artist, and as a person.” With the release of this much-anticipated new CD, Clark’s true potential appears limitless. One thing is clear – Julie Clark is an artist whose time has come! Read more on Last.fm.
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