The past couple of years have offered a nice corrective to women who received one too many mix tapes that opened with The Beatles’ “Julia” in the early 90s because, yes, they were named “Julia.” (Three and counting for this Julia. What can I say? I attracted sensitive, mix tape-wielding souls.) While arguably the greatest of all “Julia” songs, The Beatles’ ode is primarily about John Lennon’s mother. Nothing kills the vibe of the mix tape/romantic gesture faster than realizing that its big lead-in is about someone’s mom.
Not that the impulse wasn’t appreciated. I do love a song with my name it. I place this squarely under the header of something I like to call “innocuous narcissism.” Loving a song with your name in it is like reading about the qualities of your astrological sign or doing a BuzzFeed “Which Lesser-Known Muppet Turned Third World Dictator Are You?!” quiz. It’s pure dumb ego, but all of these activities are relatively harmless as far as narcissistic pastimes go.
I didn’t catch the song last year when the group’s self-titled album came out. There’s really no excuse. Its falsetto-heavy, subdued disco groove is right up my alley. The album set the U.K. on fire—a smoldering, minimalist hustle of a fire, but a fire nonetheless. The band is poised to impress stateside with upcoming appearances at Coachella, Bonnaroo and Sasquatch. They’ll also be playing opening act to Alt-J all over this great, shining country of ours.
But, back to this “Julia” situation. Watched along with their previously-released videos for “Platoon,” “Heat,” “Busy Earnin’” and “Time,” “Julia” completes a gorgeously-photographed tribute to contemporary street and club dance. The choreography featured in “Julia” is equal parts flexing and capoeria with a smattering of Shaolin-inspired posing.
It’s beautiful, athletic stuff, and appears to have zero relationship to the song’s lyrics. I would find offense in this being a “Julia” and all, but it’s dance music. Since when do dance music lyrics mean anything at all? We can debate this, but I’m still trying to figure out why Donna Summer left her “cake out in the rain” in “MacArthur Park.”
Let Jungle help you get in touch with the smooth-moving, dance floor version of you, and please, send the friendly, neighborhood Julia in your life a playlist sans the Lennon.
Julia Ward is a Los Angeles-based writer and former performing arts producer. She was a contributor to the Future of Music Coalition’s international copyright and compensation research, was nicknamed “Scientific Terrific” by Pee Wee Dance of the Rock Steady Crew, and appears for, like, a split-second in Jem Cohen’s Fugazi documentary Instrument. It is well within the realm of possibility that, last night, a DJ saved her life.