By Anthony Garcia
DIY Musician of the alternative band Pourover, Julia Landi uses dreams as inspiration for her stream-of-conscious-styled lyricism on “Watnong Drive,” her latest solo release.
This collection of songs “Collision,” “Egotist,” “For Now;” and “Scenes” comes after the release of her first single “Tools” back in March.
Landi’s guitar playing and naturally delivered vocal styles are accompanied by lead guitar and vocal harmonies. The last two songs on the record — “For Now” and “Scenes” — are a proper expression of Landi’s style mixed with her taste of folk and pop-inspired melodies.
Landi, a sophomore English major and director of WTSR, says her lyrics are a mix between the songwriters she admires most and poetry. She draws inspiration from artists like Elliott Smith, Conor Oberst and My Chemical Romance.
Landi says she does not write with a personal story in mind but instead uses words to create a story and to capture certain feelings.
“Finding a story of sorts is a more interesting way to convey the emotion,” she said.
“I think that type of songwriting is the most compelling and has the staying power.”
The EP features Landi’s lead and rhythm guitar playing in instrumental sections. Her straightforward tone and lyrically dense songs feel structureless but are intended to convey an abstract expression.
The cover for the record, a painting by sophomore art education major, Liz Osekavage, uses the name of the road Landi grew up on featuring imagery of two red airplanes with the album title and artist name on two attached aerial billboards.
“Something about Julia’s voice reminded me of biplanes,” said Osekavage, who wanted something cute and simple for the cover. “It’s the street she grew up on. I really liked how personal it is.”
Osekavage said the sound of “Egotist” stood out to her as she got to hear Landi’s experimental process behind recording.
For this release, Landi says her songwriting approach is varied, something reflected in her songs that are of extended length with musical interludes of guitar improvisation.
Landi admits that recording the song “Scenes” took a few months, while the track “For Now” was finished over just two days.
“This shows how flexible the artistic process can be,” Landi said.
A lot of her production efforts have come with trial and error while using limited gear, which captures the artist’s do-it-yourself style.
As music director of WTSR, Landi will continue to show her appreciation of music while planning to write and record more songs this summer with her friends.
“I’m really proud of Julia for putting something out so meaningful and personal,” Osekavage said.