Julian Lynch possesses a staggering work ethic. The New Jersey native will study anthropology at UW-Madison for another five years, until he earns his doctorate. In the last five years, he's finished four albums, including Lines, a new record due out March 26. I talked with the ethereal pop songwriter about how he's taking it all on.
You were going at an album-a-year rate for a while, but Lines is coming out about two years after your last album, Terra. How did that extra time change how you worked?
After I put out Terra, I basically had to make a promise to myself that I would de-prioritize music stuff because it was kind of detracting from school. I basically had Lines finished a year ago, or about 80% of it finished. I wanted to try an idea that involved sitting on tracks for a while, like listening to them for a few months, because after a few months, I listen to things totally differently. Let the novelty wear off and be a little more critical.
I think I'm happier with the product. Not that I dislike Terra by any means, but I definitely feel like I rushed it out, like as soon as I had 35 minutes of music, I released it. Lines I decided to take my time with. I think that's a pattern I'll follow in the future.
So the stuff you got rid of from this album, is that just gone?
None of it's totally gone. A bunch of it is sitting on cassettes I haven't digitized and probably will never digitize. There were two extra tracks that got mastered along with the record, just in the event that someone in Japan wanted them, because when [labels] do Japanese releases, they love bonus tracks, it seems. The tracks are both instrumentals.
It seems like the vocals are more out in front on this album.
Compared to [2010's] Mare and [2009's] Orange You Glad, for sure. Terra, I think, started it. The vocals were mixed a little higher on that one. Maybe the next record I do will be a bit more instrumental.
Are you not as interested in singing to say something, as opposed to using it as another instrument?
Yeah, exactly. I like singing on the records. I like the sound of recording voice. I don't really have that much interest in writing lyrics.
Today there was a review that went up of one of the tracks, and it was funny because they must have Googled my name and the name of the track, and they found a lyrics website. This happens a lot - that people speculate what the lyrics are. They're always hilarious.
It's kind of beautiful that people imagine their own lyrics on things. It's also kind of goofy. Not that the stuff I'm writing isn't goofy.