Kijiji ads and basement rock sessions

Julien’s Daughter setting a different tone in Winnipeg’s alt-rock scene

Winnipeg alt-rock band Julien’s Daughter

Kijiji.ca is used for many things. Known as a place for buying and selling cars, property and the occasional overpriced puppy, the popular website is also used for job and talent scouting, and this is where Julien’s Daughter vocalist Emma Murphy began to chase her dream.

“When I was leaving high school, I wanted to put a band together, but I didn’t really know anybody in the scene,” she says.

“So I started these Kijiji ads to meet people with no specific guidelines. I met (Chelliot Osuntade) on BandMix (a classified advertisement website for musicians), and from there we experimented with different band lineups of people through Kijiji. We had five or six people we were in contact with, and it finally fell into the four people we have now.”

The band released their debut EP The Static That Carries Over on Jan. 15, a culmination of six singles that range from the dynamic and aptly named starter “Coffee” to the “Wellington” and “Foxy Roxy” distorted duo. Staying true to their roots, the band has placed “fans wanted” ads on Kijiji to help garner attention for their debut release.

The EP’s name came about during a recording session with UMFM production co-ordinator David Dobbs when the band connected “Wellington” and “Foxy Roxy” together with some guitar feedback. However, Osuntade says the band’s name came from a more unlikely yet familiar place.

“We met up with a guy who was supposed to be a drummer,” he says. 

“We initially thought he was at an age closer to ours, but we had mixed him up with another person Emma was talking with through Kijiji. He ended up being in his late ’30s with kids. Though in the end it did not work out, when he left, someone mentioned, ‘man I wish Julien’s daughter played the drums.’ And from there, we decided to keep that name.”

For Murphy, the name provides some insight how the band and other artists can stay true to their roots.

“(We have) a real basement-rock sound,” she says.

“You can make music that does not need to be super polished but is still enjoyable. There can be mistakes in the recordings, and though you can be insecure about them, you can still appreciate it. It does not have to be a pure recording.”

Murphy notes that when the COVID-19 pandemic hit last year, it initially felt like the band’s momentum would be ruined. Things, however, turned out quite differently.

“Without the pandemic, I do not think we would be as successful as we were in certain areas,” she says.

“We would have recorded this EP alone, and we would not have been in contact with our current producer Adam Fuhr, so a lot of things would have been different. However, I am happy ... things turned out the way they did.”

She says the band is steadily working on new content and continuing to develop their sound.

The Static That Carries Over is available at juliensdaughter.bandcamp.com and on major streaming platforms.

Published in Volume 75, Number 17 of The Uniter (February 3, 2021)

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