Julie Slick is an enigma. Her description of “bassist, composer, and foodie” simplifies her plethora of projects into an quick and catchy tagline, which is a bit unfair as her range is like few others to emerge from the Philly scene.
She does prog, she does rock, she does ambient. And her first effort in 2017 finds her in EchoTest, a genre-spanning collective that pulls from all corners of the industry to create relaxing yet complex tunes. Their newest effort From Two Balconies can only be described as one thing: progressive pop, as shown by their two preview tracks “supercell” and “the mystical connected us”.
The former features vocals from Mike Visser — a singer / songwriter from the bands Frank Jordan and Springs, who has also collaborated with members of Dr. Dog — and his smoothness glides the track along until the musical break, as a whirlwind of synth and noise grow the sound into a Dream Theater-like jam climaxing with a guitar solo that never moves lower than the 10th fret.
“the mystical…” takes a chill pill and invites the familiar voice of Ali Wadsworth as the melodic narrator of some twisted-up love, all to be happily interrupted by Slick’s slap of the bass to continue the track in a fuzzed-out head space without limits.
Both tracks make me question what exactly this record will be, and I guess I’ll have to anxiously wait for the full release of this electronic smorgasbord to find out.
Ali Wadsworth, Dr. Dog, EchoTest, Julie Slick