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Junip – Live Review (The Fleece, Bristol 17 September 2013)

The support act walks shyly onto the stage in the dark yet atmospheric Fleece in Bristol. She introduces her band, Mariam The Believer. Once all introductions are done, the band start playing and the shy woman that walked onto the stage a minute before transforms into an edgy, confident, psychedelic, progressive rock star. She blew the audience away with her powerful voice and meaningful lyrics. Mariam Wallentin was a fantastic front woman – she is a modern day Patti Smith. She has angst, confidence and showmanship that will carry her a long way. If the support band were anything to go by then this looked to be a breath-taking gig.

Junip finally made their appearance after Mariam The Believer had received their well deserved applause. Kick starting the evening off with popular track Black Refuge taken from the band’s EP released in 2005, Junip instantly pleased the crowd. Their music floated through the air and created an ambience that suited the venue perfectly.

Junip’s meditative rhythms and melodies had such an effect on the listeners that the whole of The Fleece fell silent as Junip played their set list. Covering tracks from Fields and the more recent self-titled album, Junip managed to create the perfect gig. With the lights on the stage set low, all Junip had to do was play those sweet, dreamlike rhythms and they had the audience in the palms of their hands.

Carefully picking songs from their recent album such as Suddenly, So Clear and Villain as well as the single releases, Line Of Fire, Your Life Your Call and the more recent single, Walking Lightly, Junip ensured their fans were satisfied. Gonzalez’ vocals sung so softly into the microphone managed to fill the room with calm and serenity. The band performed with precision helping to create that wonderfully, dreamy music that you instantly fall in love with.

When listening to Junip on CD, you can’t fully appreciate how many different layers of instruments are used  to create the sound Junip have become recognised for. Seeing them live is a whole other ball game. During tracks Suddenly, So Clear and especially Walking Lightly, you had the chance to see how the instruments used integrated with each other. There is a level of complexity and craftsmanship in Junip’s music that will never fail to mesmerise audiences. Walking Lightly is an outstanding track when performed live – Junip gave it their all; energy, enthusiasm and most important of all musicianship.

Ending with the slower number, After All Is Said And Done, allowed Junip to leave the lingering tones flowing around in their listeners’ heads as they exited the room. The lights were switched back on which shot The Fleece into brightness. The lights revealed happy, placid faces.

Junip are a band that please you when you listen to their albums but they are a band that blow you away when you see them perform live. They are comfortable on stage, they make it look so easy as if they could all do it with their eyes closed. They don’t play with effort – they are seamless. If anything this just helps to add to the ambience of their gigs. You can’t help but love this band.

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Junip Reveal New Video For Single, Walking Lightly

Sweden’s Junip have released a brand new video for their latest track, Walking Lightly. Walking Lightly is the lead single and title track of their new EP which was released on 16 September. Junip’s newest EP features remixes from Maps, John Roberts, Tobacco and To Rococo Rot.

Junip Walking Lightly

Still from Junip’s latest video Walking Lightly

Walking Lightly has a much more mellow and warmer video in comparison to the two previous controversial efforts for singles Line Of Fire and Your Life Your Call which both featured sex scenes, incest and child molestation over a two video storyline.

Junip with their droning moog synths, repetitive classical guitar lines and hypnotic rhythms are all about making the kind of meditative music you might play while sitting round a camp fire in the woods which, funnily enough, is what this video finds them doing.

Tastefully lit, everyone bashes away on different percussion instruments which adds to the tracks great hypnotic groove, even if after a while you do wish Jose Gonzalez would sing something other than “We’re all/Walking lightly” over and over again, for five minutes. But he gets away with it; he’s still got a very, very nice voice.

Junip set off on tour two weeks ago and always manage to produce solid releases proving they are much more than just a Jose Gonzalez side project. Their popularity has recently seen an increase due to Line of Fire being used in one of the latest episodes of the hugely popular Breaking Bad TV series. Anyone keen to see the band in action live should check out the video of them playing at the LA ROUTE DU ROCK festival.

By Josh Bennett

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Junip Announce Release of New Single, Walking Lightly

After a busy summer playing an array of European festivals, Junip are pleased to share their beautiful new single, Walking Lightly, which will be released on September 16 via City Slang.

Walking Lightly sees the recognisable vocals of lead-singer José González guide you through a venture of dream-like vocals, mellow drum beats and tingling percussion, serving as a good example to experience what Junip do best. Walking Lightly is a to-die-for favourite. It has Indian musical influences within it heard through the guitar playing, the flute, pan pipes and the tempo. This all gives it a great dynamic and a wonderfully uplifting feel despite the downtrodden vocals sung by Gonzalez. The harmonies in this song are spot-on and really help to build it as a number. Despite the fact that the main lyrics of “We’re all walking lightly, we’re all…” are repeated hundreds of times throughout with little other lyrics to satisfy, this song remains a favourite. The way the song is built, produced and maintained is fantastic. It is not about the lyrics for a change but the structure of the track.

Junip album

Junip album artwork

The new single is taken from Junip’s upcoming EP also entitled Walking Lightly which is out on September the 16. The EP features a collaboration with electronic producer John Roberts for a remix that resulted in a passionate new version of this outstanding rendition. As well as this, the EP will also include remixes by Tobacco, To Rococo Rot and Maps. This release follows the success of Junip’s sophomore, self-titled album which came out on April 22 2013 via City Slang.

The Independent wrote a feature on Junip in August stating: “Fans of González will find Junip’s music more complex in its arrangements than his solo output, and their new album is a step forward in several sonic directions, incorporating rock, indie folk, Krautrock’s driving rhythms, blissful harmonies and also electronica, while retaining the trademark dreamy sound of González’s vocals, far back into the mix with plenty of hazy reverb.”

Junip are also set to embark on a full European tour later this year. In preparation of this, you can watch a clip from Junip’s beautiful show at this years La Route Du Rock Festival in France here and the session with Pitchfork here.

You can catch Junip live on the following dates:
Sept 6 San Sebastian ES – Kutxa Kultur
Sept 7 La Tour-de-Peilz CH – Nox Orae
Sept 8 Luzern CH – Schuur
Sept 9 Milano IT – Magnolia
Sept 10 Lyon FR – Epicerie Moderne
Sept 11 Clermont-Ferrand FR – Cooperative de Mai
Sept 12 Strasbourg FR – La Laiterie
Sept 13 Tourcoing FR – Grand Mix
Sept 14 Manchester UK – Ramsbottom Festival
Sept 15 Glasgow UK – No Mean City
Sept 16 Leeds UK – Brudenells Social Club
Sept 17 Bristol UK – Fleece
Sept 18 London UK – Shepherd’s Bush Empire
Sept 19 Utrecht NL – Tivoli Oudegracht
Sept 20 Antwerp BE – Arenberg
Sept 21 Duesseldorf DE – Zakk
Sept 22 Wiesbaden DE – Schlachthof
Sept 23 Stuttgart DE – Wagenhallen
Nov 1 aris FR – Pitchfork Festival
Nov 22 Weissenhaeuser Strand DE – Rolling Stone Weekender

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