The Combination of Different Musical Eras Never Sounded so Good in Lil Julez “Bitter Caroline”
June 17th saw the release of “Bitter Caroline” by Lil Julez, an artist who is dedicated to the 60’s and 90’s aesthetics combined with the current sound of the Gen Z indie movement. Coming from his previous and debut single “Saw Someone Like You,” this track once again features the young producer Patrick Vanek.
Lil Julez generally counts himself as part of the global bedroom pop movement, naming Boy Pablo, Pink Pantheress, Mac Demarco and Steve Lacy as his greatest musical influences. A certain amount of humor is also an essential part of his songwriting process, as clearly seen by “Bitter Caroline,” Lil Julez’s lyrics often seem ironic or absurd, all to plan to leave as much room for interpretation as possible.
“I wanted to create a strong contrast between the music and the lyrics to make ‘Bitter Caroline’ a little edgier. These days, many people find it difficult to take a happy song for what it is, to listen to it completely unironically – and sometimes a tragic lyric helps to make it special.”
Just listening to the beginning of the track shows off its modern and past influences. It combines them in a manner than is incredibly enjoyable, and keeps the sound similar yet various throughout to fit the theme of the song. The uniqueness of Lil Julez’ vocals shines right through with equally unique compositions, good for a sing-along car ride or any house party that needs a mood lifter. This is one of those songs where a first listen is needed only for taking in the different melodies, and a second and third are needed to analyze the lyrics, specifically on how different in mood they actually are. Although the message and sound contrast greatly, there is something to be marveled at how perfectly it fits at every beat in the song regardless. For sure, this is the sign of an artist mastering their craft, when they challenge the industry to expand on its own inventiveness.