“The concept of this EP is essentially personal growth and strength. Like everyone, I have been through tough times and have always been resilient and rose back up,” says alt-rocker JULIET SIMMS about her new EP FROM THE GRAVE which will be independently released on July 15, 2016. “In many ways, it’s a snap shot of finding myself and never giving in.”
“Resilient” is a great word to describe Juliet who has seen the ups and downs of the music industry from up close with her label teams suffering the massive layoffs of the 2000s, another label suffering from the Japanese tsunami of 2010, as well the worldwide exposure of her second place finish on NBC’s hit music competition show The Voice. But she’s managed to keep her head far above the water and bounced back each and every time. With the release of From the Grave, Juliet mined the depths of her songwriting closet and uncovered a collection of mostly previously unreleased tracks that needed to see the light of day. “I wrote these songs in the last couple years,” she explains. “During and after the recording of [2015’s] All or Nothing, a few of the songs I intended for that EP but the crowd funding campaign I ran was for a 6 song EP only. These songs are indicative of life on the other side when having some darkness in your past.”
Kicking off with the scorcher “Get Ready” (which was co-written with her friends in Boys Like Girls), From the Grave is a rollercoaster of guitar-led rock, tempered by Juliet’s distinctive, gravelly purr and growl. The southern rock flair of “Say Hello” benefits from a massive blast of adrenaline and a swagger that’s equal parts of whiskey and swank. “’Say Hello’ is a very cocky song,” she laughs. “It’s a part of my personality about unapologetically being yourself. Over the past few years I’ve noticed, and much like a lot of people or public figures, social media has two sides to it – the lovers and the haters. This song is for both. It’s an anthem for the good guys and a big ol’ bird for the bad guys.”
The midtempo pop of “Tidal Wave” shows off Juliet’s command of infectious songwriting and big, booming choruses. “I wrote with [producer] Aaron Sprinkle in Nashville,” she explains. “One of my biggest influences is Sheryl Crow and, at the time, I was immersed in some of her older material. I think that’s why this song has a bit of a 90s feel to it. It’s about waiting for something to wake you up and knock you back into shape. It’s a sad happy song.”
The remainder of the eight-track EP travels such roads as the heavy rock of “Trouble Finds You” (“Chaos begets chaos in the song… with order chasing not far behind”), a tender rumination on Kurt and Courtney’s daughter Frances Bean in “Frances” (“Being a huge fan of both since I was a little girl, I naturally was effected by the films Montage of Heck and Soaked in Bleach and the new things learned that it inspired me to write some poetry much like both did”), and the acoustic ballad “Phoenix” (“The metaphor of being a phoenix waiting for your demise, just so you can return again stronger, more beautiful and ready to ‘fly’ again”).
Gearing up for “more touring and perhaps a new LP”, Juliet is once again bouncing back… and the great thing about her is that each time she’s presented with an obstacle, it only makes her determination and her songwriting so much stronger. If this EP is any indication, the lyrics in the song “Phoenix” perfectly captures her trajectory: “Like a phoenix, I’m just waiting to fly.”
From The Grave will be released on July 15, 2016.