Julia Wolf‘s life is an open book, and she invites you to flip through the pages of Good Thing We Stayed. “Like the artwork, this album is a collection of memories that have left heavy marks on my life,” she tells HollywoodLife about the release of her debut album. Over ten tracks, Julia ups her game with clever lyrics — “I call you Dracula / because most of you people can’t even look in the mirror,” she sings on “Dracula” – paired against dark pop beats. The dark bedroom pop on the album is a pinch of daydream and a splash of a nightmare, creating a sound that will linger with the listener long after the album’s over.
Good Thing We Stayed marks the end of a chapter in Julia’s life. The New York native has worked hard at her career since her single “Captions” hit streaming services in 2019. “There have been many setbacks and successes detailed within this new LP. It story-tells the journey of how we got here today and the reasons that make me who I am,” she says ahead of the album’s release. “Having almost given up a few years ago, ready to move to a different country and live someone else’s life, all I can say is it’s a good thing we stayed.”
With the album’s release and the new autobiographical music video for “Rookie of the Year,” Julia has provided a track-by-track breakdown of the meaning behind the song on her debut. Check it out, and don’t forget to catch Julia on her Gothic Babe Tendencies Tour in February.
To me, “Now” is a straight storytelling of where I started to where I am today. It’s the 4am alarm clocks going into the city for work, then hitting the studio after to write, then heading home so late — just to do it all again the next day. It’s the grind of daily open mics, and being so painfully shy each night feels like you’re cannonballing into the coffin because of how lost you feel. But you do it because deep down, you believe in yourself. You have visions of the life you desperately want and know you wouldn’t truly let yourself dream about something you didn’t think you could get. There are no other options, and there is no plan B, because life any other way simply wouldn’t cut it.
“Get Off My”
“Get Off My” is the all-too-relatable anthem for people who are fed up and over being mistreated. It’s based on a true story early in my career where my time wasn’t being valued and in turn, taken for granted, as if disposable. But when people stand you up, it becomes the push you need, the kick to stay motivated and prove them so wrong they come crawling back, something we see happen time and time again. When you start doing well and believing in yourself, everyone wants to say they had a hand in making your accomplishments that follow a reality. But this song is here to shut said entitlement down and quite literally tell people to get off my…back.
Spending most of my youth on the bleachers really gave me the time to observe and learn how to read a room. In being the quiet person in the room – you really get to see the lines people are willing to cross to get what they want. As someone who is a diehard horror fan, I wanted to use our beloved Dracula, the vampire who can’t see his own reflection, as a way to call out people who throw the most shade while hiding behind closed doors or phones. People get so two-faced and think they’ve fooled everyone around them when really the spotlight couldn’t be shining down any brighter.
“Gothic Babe Tendencies”
“Gothic Babe Tendencies” speaks on the ways I feel when starting to develop feelings for someone. Finding someone you like is challenging, a rarity nowadays, so when it happens, something in me says it won’t last. It’s this sort of gloomy mindset thinking it’s too good to be true, so better to run before potentially getting hurt. But there’s a part of me that, of course, wants to believe. That wants to surrender to the sun instead of running from it. I think many of us gothic babes battle between choosing to live in the dark or finally taking a leap of faith and putting those “what if’s” to rest.
Having never written a song like this, I wanted one for my fellow wolves to play, getting ready for their next hinge date. It’s the playful side of dating, the side where you’re still too busy focusing on your career for anything serious but don’t mind a fun night out when the ol’ schedule allows. The dating scene, especially in New York City, is so wild. You find yourself saying yes more spontaneously and feeding off that contagious energy of the hustle and bustle, looking for new memories to make and, well, new boys with cool nose rings.
“Sad Too Young”
I don’t have many songs that describe what makes me me. It’s vulnerable and terrifying to so bluntly put yourself out there, but I felt the album wouldn’t be complete without it. “Sad Too Young” is how I’ve always felt. There are core experiences I went through as a young child that shaped me into who I am today, and without getting into what they are, I’ll say that they had me sad at a very young age. So many times, people ask why I can’t speak up, why I can’t answer a “simple” question about myself, or where my shyness comes from. This song is my way of explaining myself.
The truth is, when you grow up with so much shame and anxiety, you’re too busy focusing on how to get through each moment that you don’t actually experience what’s happening to you. You don’t form the memory you were supposed to. I do bring it back to how this affects me in romantic relationships as well and how the patterns of my past make it hard for me to get close to people. It’s not that I don’t want it, it’s just something that needs to be understood by others I think.
“Virginity” speaks about an extremely personal matter that carried much sadness and anger at the time but also gave lots of insight into myself in retrospect. I’m sure many of us can relate to wanting our first time to be with someone we care deeply for, as this was something my sister and I promised each other, but sometimes life happens, and promises get broken. I have realized the importance of putting yourself first and never choosing to settle. It’s a reminder that for as many moments we experience that feel dark or regretful or gloomy, there are moments that follow, full of lessons and beauty which make us appreciate who we are and how we choose to move forward in our lives.
“Hot Killer” is for the girl everyone deems ‘too sweet’ to break hearts. Having a quiet disposition doesn’t mean you automatically put everybody else on a pedestal. Behind every innocent damsel in distress hides a cunning woman who understands the beauty of being the least expected. And while we aren’t always the loudest in the room, we’re certainly the most observant, always plotting our next move.
What’s more empowering than a sorority house full of girls wearing our merch? That’s the tone behind this song. It’s about girl code and having each other’s backs. This is my chance to finally speak my mind and stand up for myself when I couldn’t all those countless times back in the day. From taking meetings with no-shows to quitting day jobs and betting on ourselves, Sorority Girls is the song to remind us that we hold all the cards and we take our future into our own hands.
“Rookie of the Year”
“Rookie of the Year” is about finally choosing to bet on yourself and realizing it all starts with you. No one else is going to write the songs, record the videos, answer the messages, go to your day job [and] then play open mics 5 nights a week. You have to believe in yourself, and you have to put the work in. I reminisce a lot about the North Shore and the grind of pushing through moments of doubt. I touch on giving up and almost moving to Italy with my father, ready to open a pizza shop because I had hit my lowest of low after years of dead ends. It’s about perseverance and the rewards that come with that. I used to write all my goals in invisible ink on my bedroom walls as a kid because deep down, I knew something, one day, would happen for me. We still have a long way to go, but, I look around now and can’t believe how far we’ve come.
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