Inspired by the concept of the butterfly effect, Julien Chang’s “Butterflies from Monaco” is a breathtaking design that stirs deep, tucked away thoughts through its colorful tempo switches, alluding reality. The Baltimore native and current university student carefully designs from an older mindset, considering his youthful tick at 19 years — not that age plays a considerable role in the artistic pursuits, but a particular ripened wisdom and sound from Chang is one that comes with time.
On “Butterflies From Monaco,” the minute details and changes on the near 6-minute soundscape justly prove his exploration of the butterflies’ concept from a physic and psychological stance. Cradling and offering a sense of security, the initial dream-state sits perfectly as denial and what can be seen as “present tense.”
Chang’s deliriously, sweet croon steadily maneuvers for the first few minutes. The sensual blues-driven guitar lead overrides Chang’s echo, “I don’t want to know,” onto a Americana-inspired soul that licks the dashboard of the original pony car, peaking with the same enthusiasm that hails as “the future.” Mid-way the track melts once more into a heartfelt organ and hazy disposition of pop-infused psych. Each pause and overlay highlights the technicality by Chang without relying so much on mechanics.
And as “Butterflies From Monaco” stopped all wandering thoughts, the announcement of Chang’s debut album, Jules, set to be released October 11, 2019 via Transgressive, kick-started anticipation. The multi-instrumentalist who self-produced, self-recorded, and almost self-performed on the album’s entirety will rightfully display the jazz and contemporary elements that fuel the artist’s sound. Named after a nickname that no one really addresses him by, the sense of exposing the “false familiarity” becomes a first step taken on Chang’s continual path of growth.
“The record was brought to life by uncertainty and experimentation, just like most everything else in life is during the summer before senior year,” Chang explains. “Even in the last weeks of recording, I was unsure of what kind of album it would turn out to be, but I think that was the point of making it — to follow inspirations indiscriminately and to whatever extent I felt.”
Jules is now available for pre-order here.
10/15 – Brooklyn, NY @ Baby’s All Right
10/28 – London, UK @ Bermondsey Social Club
10/29 – London, UK @ Servant Jazz Quarters
10/31 – Brussels, BE @ Botanique Witloof Bar
11/01 – Berlin, DE @ Musik & Frieden
Cover Photo: Erica Snyder