It’s about time.
When people hear Julie Crochetiere’s music for the first time, their reaction is universally the same…”whoa, how come I don’t know about this?” Second time, they often say…“it’s about time, she should be huge!”. But it’s also about a different kind of time, a deep pocketed soul, a vocal groove that weaves a web around the listener and then delivers a message…a message so thoughtful, so spare and so right that you shake your head…”how come I don’t know about this?”
Counting Dreams is also about another time; the live off the floor recordings of the 60’s, the time before auto tune and vocal pyrotechnics. A time when all it took to make a killer hook was five fingers carefully placed on a piano, when a song was a craft that was built to carry a message raw with emotion, with joy, with sadness and with a moving human story of want, love and loss.
Julie Crochetiere’s 4th solo release Counting Dreams is a deeply authentic record. “Simplicity is where the authenticity is,” Julie says, ”there is truth there. This project has been in my head for 10 years.” Recorded in a week last fall in Montreal with a small rhythm section and strings, the recording features 9 originals and two covers one of which was written by Vincent Vallieres.
Julie’s various projects over the years have sold over 400,000 albums making her unquestionably one of the top selling artists you never heard of. “Those sales”, says Crochetiere “come with what I call ‘ the chorus of advice’…everyone in the music business has counsel…’you’re too jazz for pop, too pop for jazz, soul is over, you should do a French record, you should do an English record, your hair would look better in an up-do it goes better with your music’. The refrain of ‘you shoulds’, is always amusing but for a very long time now I knew exactly what I should do and it was a very powerful feeling to know, so deeply, what needed to be done. I knew I wanted to make something very spare, I wanted to hear the songs but I also wanted to hear the air around the songs. There is always such a temptation to add another instrument, to stack another vocal, it’s like the arrangement is trying to seduce the song….’It’d sound great with horns, don’t ya think?’ But this record had it’s own voice…”
THE BACK STORY
Julie Crochetiere is a veteran, and while it’s hard to think of such a young woman in those terms, she has been practicing her craft since she was 7, playing classical piano and then trumpet. She spent hours in a bean bag in her parents Montreal basement listening to LPs of Roberta Flack, Bill Withers, Carole King and Nina Simone and begging her parents to buy her the sheet music. She would listen to a record for a year, not off and on for a year mind you, but twice or three times everyday for a year. She was trying to unlock it’s code. Her parents are both engineers, (albeit engineers who love to dance), so science and rational thought are close to home.
When Julie was growing up in the age of Platinum Blonde and Duran Duran searching for her music, she knew it wasn’t what her friends were listening to and she kept returning to the bean bag chair and the old vinyls in the basement.
When she was 17 her music teacher swung her an audition with a society band. She got the gig, quickly learned a repertoire of 200 songs and how to walk in heels for five hours a night pretending it didn’t hurt. By the time she was 18 she was doing 100 dates a year.
At 18, after a gruelling audition process in Montreal and Toronto, Julie won one of five places in the band Sugar Jones for the 1st Canadian reality TV show Popstars. The group signed to Universal, had a number of radio hits including “How Much Longer” and “Days Like That” and tours took her from Canada to England and in the process the group went platinum. When it all ended, as these things invariably do, Julie remembers finding herself dead broke in a tiny apartment in Toronto far away from home thinking about selling her keyboard, when her manager and friend Chris Bennett told her, “that’s not a keyboard it’s a song writing machine, I wouldn’t sell it if I were you.“
Julie started writing with serious intent. She befriended the late Haydain Neale leader of Jacksoul and he became a mentor and sounding board for Julie, constantly reaffirming his simple rule, “if it feels good, do it!”
In 2007, she released her first full-length, soul-jazz album, “A Better Place,” which included the hit single “Precious Love” which climbed to #18 on the Canadian AC charts and made A Better Place the top downloaded album of April 2008 on iTunes Canada’s Soul/R&B charts. “Precious Love” was a finalist in the category of “Best Song at the 2009 Canadian Radio Music Awards.
In 2011 Julie released her third solo CD Steady Ground and the ground shifted from the soulful intimacy of her previous works to a tougher more impactful hooky dance groove, recalling Chic and the work of Nile Rogers. Laden with one soulful hook after another Steady Ground was indeed fertile ground for music supervisors and was licensed for numerous films and television shows in North America and Europe.
HERE AND NOW
In April of 2014 Julie will release her much anticipated 4th recording “Counting Dreams”, 9 original songs and 2 covers on Vega Musique, distributed by Dep/Universal. Produced by Tim Gowdy (Coral Egan, The Barr Brothers, Keith Kouna) and co-produced by Julie. Featuring Quartette Orphée and string arrangements by Robin Smith (James Morrison, Cher, Andrea Bochelli).
Counting Dreams tells a story, a story of love and loss, of soaring hope and heartfelt determination….a story told by a singer songwriter who knows her way into a listeners heart with a hook, with a message and with a truth so deep it will make you cry.