Julia Viktoria – “Stranger” (EP)
Swedish singer Julia Viktoria made her debut back in 2016 with “I’ll Do It for You” and since then has consistently released some fine EDM/pop tunes (check out “You Will Know”). This past year she has teamed up with songwriter Robin Padam and producer Johannes Willinder to put out a new collection of tracks, many of which have now been brought together for her first EP collection, “Stranger”.
Julia says about “Stranger”: “I started getting a lot of flashbacks from my previous relationship. I could not stop thinking and reflecting on the time we had together and what we shared. I also reflected on the fact that a person who I shared a part of my life with suddenly turned into a stranger. I didn’t want us to be strangers, I wanted to be able to get to know that person again, in a different perspective”.
“Stranger” opens with the title track, a gorgeous retro feeling mid-tempo dream pop song with beautiful uplifting vocals from Julia, which immediately offer a vulnerability and an innocence in her situation, clearly mapping out the relationship from strangers to lovers and back again. I love the soundtrack of this song, which rarely deviates away from a few single keys. “I Don’t Wanna Be Forgotten” has already been released, but this follows suit musically with its stop-start beat through the chorus to each heartfelt verse. Julia feels things have changed too quick and she doesn;t want to be left behind.
“Can’t Stop” dives deeper into the retro/synth world of the 80’s yet still remaining contemporary and very stylistically modern. I love the atmosphere and wide sounding backing track of this song as Julia pleads with her lover if he has been with someone else. This girl needs some reassurance! “Things We Never Had” begins as if it is going to be a ballad, but we soon build to a lush chorus and a down-tempo beat with more of those highly addictive synths connecting the chorus to verse and back again. The EP concludes all too soon with “Främling”, “Stranger” sung in Julia’s native tongue.
This is a very different body of work from what Julia has released previously, much more electro-dance-pop as well has offering more than a generous nod to the sounds of the mid-80’s and represents a great new direction for her. Cleverly, with the addition of the Swedish sung “Främling”, Julia ends this EP right where she started and ready to be played over and over again. This has been my introduction to Julia Viktoria and I have to say I have fallen for her voice and sound already. I can’t wait (and I hope) a full album will be on its way in the not too distant future…(!)