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JULIE MINTZ


Singer/songwriter Julie Mintz has the rare kind of vocal presence that’s capable of drawing extraordinary power from the most subtle expression of feeling. On her 2018 full-length debut Abandon All Hope of Fruition, the Los Angeles-based artist mused on emotional states like longing and disillusionment and romantic confusion, an exploration made all the more enthralling by her luminous take on Gothic Americana. Also a gifted song interpreter, she’s since joined forces with her longtime collaborator Moby for such offerings as a spellbinding mashup of Prince’s “Purple Rain” and Lady Gaga’s “Million Reasons”—a 2019 release that’s amassed over 1.2 million streams on Spotify to date.

In her latest undertaking, Mintz widens her range and shares her most urgent and immediately catchy output yet. Co-produced by Daniel Presant and Sean O’Brien (whose engineering work on The National’s Sleep Well Beast earned him a Grammy Award in 2018), her new single “Done With Boys” is an anti-love song all done up in bright rhythms and breezy melodies, a perfect foil to Mintz’s slyly delivered lyrics (“Seen southern charm/Momma tattooed on his arm/But he’ll leave you just as quick he’ll save you”). But while the song marks a departure from the ethereal textures of past work like her debut EP The Thin Veil, Mintz imbues “Done With Boys” with the dreamy sensitivity that’s always permeated her music.

“Up until this point I’ve mostly written a lot of heartbroken country songs, so I was excited by the idea of creating something with a more lighthearted, upbeat, anthemic quality to it,” says Mintz, who co-wrote “Done With Boys” with Presant and Alex Winston. “At the same time, this song very much reflects the raw and true experience of feeling like I was completely done with dating. It still comes from the same vulnerable place that I’m always writing from.”

Born and raised in the South Texas city of Corpus Christi, Mintz first connected with the bittersweet balladry of classic country artists as a little girl. “My dad loved Patsy Cline—her greatest-hits album was always playing when I was a kid, so now my ear naturally goes to that old-school-country chord progression and the melody that comes along with it,” says Mintz. Learning to play piano as a child and later picking up guitar as well, Mintz held true to country’s emotional tradition and gravitated toward “sad songs about love and heartache” as she began crafting her own material. Through the years, she’s also found the mood of her songwriting deeply informed by her first-ever experience in the workforce: an after-school job working in a funeral home on the Gulf of Mexico, which included driving a hearse with a body in the back. “I was a cheerleader in high school, so I used to show up at the funeral home in my cheerleading uniform,” Mintz recalls. “At the time it was all really scary to me, but I think it ties into me eventually writing this very Gothic music, and this thread throughout my songs about the idea of dying alone.”

While attending Emory University, Mintz studied neuroscience and behavioral biology, but decided to forgo medical school in favor of pursuing her music career. Still, Mintz points out that both fields of study have shaped her approach to songwriting. “I’ve always had this desire to understand the inner workings of my mind and other people’s minds, and that’s so much of what I’m doing with my songs—just trying to work out those curiosities,” she says.

Released in 2015, The Thin Veil matches Mintz’s finely layered songwriting with minimalist production from Moby, whose live band she’d joined as a background vocalist and keyboardist in 2011. Over the years, she’s spent much of her time on the road with the pioneering artist/musician/producer, which included joining him onstage for a Hollywood Bowl show presented by legendary English DJ Pete Tong as well as for Moby’s debut performance with Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Philharmonic, in addition to appearing on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”

When it came time to create her full-length debut, Mintz teamed up with producer David Jerkovich and musicians like Ben Peeler (a pedal-steel guitarist known for his work with Father John Misty and Dawes), Tripp Beam (Moby’s longtime drummer), and Mindy Jones (a singer who joined Mintz in generating the radiant harmonies woven throughout the album). With its title lifted from American Tibetan Buddhist Pema Chödrön’s classic book When Things Fall Apart, Abandon All Hope of Fruition offers a quietly mesmerizing meditation on what Mintz refers to as “letting go of the hope that things are going to be different in the future, and moving toward an appreciation of where you are right now.”

Rooted in her beautifully detailed storytelling and intense self-reflection, Abandon All Hope of Fruition encompasses everything from the piano-laced reverie of “Bow and Arrow” to the pedal-steel swoon of “The River” to the ’50s-doo-wop lilt of “Tired to the Bone.” Along with a starkly arranged cover of John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” the album also includes a Moby-produced rendition of “The Sorrow Tree”—a track from his 2018 full-length Everything Was Beautiful, and Nothing Hurt. In a softly stunning twist on the original version (which featured Mintz as the singer), Abandon All Hope of Fruition’s update of “The Sorrow Tree” emerged as an acoustic slow-burner centered on her hypnotic and haunting vocal work.

Mintz’s first release since Abandon All Hope of Fruition, “Purple Rain/Million Reasons” premiered in August 2019, not long after the track’s serendipitous inception. “Moby and I used to do a cover of ‘Purple Rain’ sometimes at his acoustic shows, and one day we decided to record it,” says Mintz. “When we got to the studio I was practicing the song on piano, and something in the chord progression reminded me of ‘Million Reasons’ by Lady Gaga. I started singing them together and it sounded great, so in that moment we ended up recording it as a mashup.” Another breathtaking cover track from Mintz and Moby, their reimagining of the Beatles’ “Revolution” arrived just days after the January 6th insurrection at the Capitol complex, providing a gorgeously chilling soundtrack to history in real time.

Now at work on her next project, Mintz is newly energized by the sense of possibility and expansion she discovered in the making of “Done With Boys.” Not only a major creative leap, the song ultimately bears an undeniable resonance that goes far beyond its initial inspiration. “‘Done With Boys’ doesn’t have to be about dating or men or relationships—it can be an analogy for anything in your life that you desperately wanted but ended breaking your heart, to the point where you just have to let it go,” says Mintz. “Even though the song came from a place of disappointment, it made me realize that failure and devastation can either be a powerful depressant, or a painfully powerful catalyst to rise again—and that’s exactly what I’m choosing for this moment in my life.”

Julie Mintz Photo

JULIE MINTZ


Singer/songwriter Julie Mintz has the rare kind of vocal presence that’s capable of drawing extraordinary power from the most subtle expression of feeling. On her 2018 full-length debut Abandon All Hope of Fruition, the Los Angeles-based artist mused on emotional states like longing and disillusionment and romantic confusion, an exploration made all the more enthralling by her luminous take on Gothic Americana. Also a gifted song interpreter, she’s since joined forces with her longtime collaborator Moby for such offerings as a spellbinding mashup of Prince’s “Purple Rain” and Lady Gaga’s “Million Reasons”—a 2019 release that’s amassed over 1.2 million streams on Spotify to date.

In her latest undertaking, Mintz widens her range and shares her most urgent and immediately catchy output yet. Co-produced by Daniel Presant and Sean O’Brien (whose engineering work on The National’s Sleep Well Beast earned him a Grammy Award in 2018), her new single “Done With Boys” is an anti-love song all done up in bright rhythms and breezy melodies, a perfect foil to Mintz’s slyly delivered lyrics (“Seen southern charm/Momma tattooed on his arm/But he’ll leave you just as quick he’ll save you”). But while the song marks a departure from the ethereal textures of past work like her debut EP The Thin Veil, Mintz imbues “Done With Boys” with the dreamy sensitivity that’s always permeated her music.

“Up until this point I’ve mostly written a lot of heartbroken country songs, so I was excited by the idea of creating something with a more lighthearted, upbeat, anthemic quality to it,” says Mintz, who co-wrote “Done With Boys” with Presant and Alex Winston. “At the same time, this song very much reflects the raw and true experience of feeling like I was completely done with dating. It still comes from the same vulnerable place that I’m always writing from.”

Born and raised in the South Texas city of Corpus Christi, Mintz first connected with the bittersweet balladry of classic country artists as a little girl. “My dad loved Patsy Cline—her greatest-hits album was always playing when I was a kid, so now my ear naturally goes to that old-school-country chord progression and the melody that comes along with it,” says Mintz. Learning to play piano as a child and later picking up guitar as well, Mintz held true to country’s emotional tradition and gravitated toward “sad songs about love and heartache” as she began crafting her own material. Through the years, she’s also found the mood of her songwriting deeply informed by her first-ever experience in the workforce: an after-school job working in a funeral home on the Gulf of Mexico, which included driving a hearse with a body in the back. “I was a cheerleader in high school, so I used to show up at the funeral home in my cheerleading uniform,” Mintz recalls. “At the time it was all really scary to me, but I think it ties into me eventually writing this very Gothic music, and this thread throughout my songs about the idea of dying alone.”

While attending Emory University, Mintz studied neuroscience and behavioral biology, but decided to forgo medical school in favor of pursuing her music career. Still, Mintz points out that both fields of study have shaped her approach to songwriting. “I’ve always had this desire to understand the inner workings of my mind and other people’s minds, and that’s so much of what I’m doing with my songs—just trying to work out those curiosities,” she says.

Released in 2015, The Thin Veil matches Mintz’s finely layered songwriting with minimalist production from Moby, whose live band she’d joined as a background vocalist and keyboardist in 2011. Over the years, she’s spent much of her time on the road with the pioneering artist/musician/producer, which included joining him onstage for a Hollywood Bowl show presented by legendary English DJ Pete Tong as well as for Moby’s debut performance with Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Philharmonic, in addition to appearing on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”

When it came time to create her full-length debut, Mintz teamed up with producer David Jerkovich and musicians like Ben Peeler (a pedal-steel guitarist known for his work with Father John Misty and Dawes), Tripp Beam (Moby’s longtime drummer), and Mindy Jones (a singer who joined Mintz in generating the radiant harmonies woven throughout the album). With its title lifted from American Tibetan Buddhist Pema Chödrön’s classic book When Things Fall Apart, Abandon All Hope of Fruition offers a quietly mesmerizing meditation on what Mintz refers to as “letting go of the hope that things are going to be different in the future, and moving toward an appreciation of where you are right now.”

Rooted in her beautifully detailed storytelling and intense self-reflection, Abandon All Hope of Fruition encompasses everything from the piano-laced reverie of “Bow and Arrow” to the pedal-steel swoon of “The River” to the ’50s-doo-wop lilt of “Tired to the Bone.” Along with a starkly arranged cover of John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” the album also includes a Moby-produced rendition of “The Sorrow Tree”—a track from his 2018 full-length Everything Was Beautiful, and Nothing Hurt. In a softly stunning twist on the original version (which featured Mintz as the singer), Abandon All Hope of Fruition’s update of “The Sorrow Tree” emerged as an acoustic slow-burner centered on her hypnotic and haunting vocal work.

Mintz’s first release since Abandon All Hope of Fruition, “Purple Rain/Million Reasons” premiered in August 2019, not long after the track’s serendipitous inception. “Moby and I used to do a cover of ‘Purple Rain’ sometimes at his acoustic shows, and one day we decided to record it,” says Mintz. “When we got to the studio I was practicing the song on piano, and something in the chord progression reminded me of ‘Million Reasons’ by Lady Gaga. I started singing them together and it sounded great, so in that moment we ended up recording it as a mashup.” Another breathtaking cover track from Mintz and Moby, their reimagining of the Beatles’ “Revolution” arrived just days after the January 6th insurrection at the Capitol complex, providing a gorgeously chilling soundtrack to history in real time.

Now at work on her next project, Mintz is newly energized by the sense of possibility and expansion she discovered in the making of “Done With Boys.” Not only a major creative leap, the song ultimately bears an undeniable resonance that goes far beyond its initial inspiration. “‘Done With Boys’ doesn’t have to be about dating or men or relationships—it can be an analogy for anything in your life that you desperately wanted but ended breaking your heart, to the point where you just have to let it go,” says Mintz. “Even though the song came from a place of disappointment, it made me realize that failure and devastation can either be a powerful depressant, or a painfully powerful catalyst to rise again—and that’s exactly what I’m choosing for this moment in my life.”

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