Julia Star reminds me of tv characters like Fleabag’s Claire and Broad City’s Iliana. She has Claire’s cutting anxiety and Iliana’s rockstar swagger, but what really brings them to mind when listening to In The Ocean I Depart, the new ep written, performed and produced by the Star, is representation. I felt like I recognised these characters when I first met them onscreen. I didn’t recognise them from any similar characters I’d seen on tv, only from people I had met and had actual conversations with, in my own life.
Those characters, those manifestations of a certain kind of human existence, I’d never seen them represented anywhere else. Like sure maybe some singers or actors I knew were anxious, insecure mothers, or bisexual semi-weed addicts with a high sex drive, but you wouldn’t see that directly played out in their work. Like, you wouldn’t see moments wherein they get to fully, creatively express what it’s like to be that person.
When discussing the process of this EP, the Italian Star discussed the double-edged sword of ‘pushing so deep into yourself that it’s not as accessible by others’, and rightly so; this EP is not getting played on the radio. At its intense peak, the EP’s hardcore death-stare into oblivion is Napalm Death for the Tierra Whack generation. The juddering beats sound like an anxiety attack on the dancefloor, the moment when you suddenly realise the men around you are screaming along to misogyny and bass reverberates through your head.
It is accessible though. Star wastes no one’s time, embodying every sense of the word punchy with a set of intense, immersive personality blasts. The lyrics of car and opener journal expose the childhood origins of Star’s anger, the loose tongue that gets her ‘labelled a hoe’, before the tempo leaps up and Star dives into her internalised hatred ‘I don't deserve companionship / drown to death in my own ship / sinking down just like my heart / in the ocean I depart.’
Discussing the purpose of this EP, Star stated it simply; ‘I have been exploring my roots with no shame in hope to get to hate myself less ha!’ Doing this when your roots aren’t represented in popular culture is hard, explorative work, but the result is music with the capacity to help others transcend their pain.
In The Ocean I Depart is out on streaming services and bandcamp now. Follow Julia Star on Instagram, and check out a previous Loose Lips feature wherein the collaborators on her previous EP interviewed eachother.