Hailing from Stewartsville, NJ, Singer-Songwriter Julianna Sweeney releases a heartfelt bundle of pieces for her debut album, 'Exit Fo[u]r.'
Bound to inspire any listener through her sound similar to Joni Mitchell, Carole King, and Noah Jones, Julianna Sweeney is continually scheming ways to use her music to foster a sense of community. Now releasing her debut album entitled 'Exit Fo[u]r,' Julianna Sweeney offers an ode to her late mother who passed away from breast cancer while also donating all royalties of the album's first week to childhood cancer research, a case that was dear to her mother's heart.
Opening the album with the intro track, "Ready," Julianna Sweeney begins the album with instrumentals as sweet as honey. Listening to Julianna Sweeney's angelic vocals, she sings a sorrowful story of swearing she's fine while missing her dear mother from time to time. Through the next track, "Citybound," another down-tempo country-like tune graces our speakers while Julianna Sweeney sings of several mental awakenings that led her to stay on the greyhound and explore the different cities and states of our country.
Slowing it down with the next piece, "All Talk," a chilling piano melody opens the song while the instrumentals begin to swell with delicate and jazzy flairs. Julianna Sweeney serenades us with her broad vocal range and touches on themes of universal advice that don't necessarily fit with each individual. Onto more of an uplifting and relatable piece, "Chase the Bitter With Lime" takes listeners through an alt-rock/country sound while Julianna Sweeney sings of moving past hardships and mending current pain.
Reaching the halfway point with "Dead For Today," Julianna Sweeney opens the song as soft as satin with her soothing vocals and melancholy acoustic guitar melodies. Singing of feeling down and out today, Julianna Sweeney touches on rising from the dirt to tackle her future as she mends her momentary pains. What we love about Julianna Sweeney's album thus far is her poetic descriptive abilities, especially through the next piece, "Exposed," as she serenades us over the tender piano and sings of heightened vulnerability.
Onto the 7th piece, "Georgia Peaches," Julianna Sweeney sings a touching story about how grateful she is to be surrounded by genuine friends and lovers that keep her moving forward. Slowly moving into the next track, "Darling," we hear Julianna Sweeney sing her most genuine and passionate story of experiencing a love who's changed the game. Keeping the same heartfelt tone for the next piece, "Michelangelo," Julianna Sweeney sings more of a saddened message where she's tried time and time again to love someone, only to compare the time-frame to that of Michelangelo painting the Sistine Chapel.
Reaching the last piece of the project with the outro tune, "Doomed," Julianna Sweeney graces our ears with soothing piano melodies, tight mid-tempo drum breaks, and her equally calming vocals. While singing a story of yearning for someone's return to offering the love she dreams of, Julianna Sweeney ends the project off with vast heart, energy, and genuine passion.
Find Julianna Sweeney's debut album 'Exit Fo[u]r' on all digital streaming platforms, and experience the project's tenderness and passion for yourself.
We adore the genuine themes and soothing instrumentation within your debut album, 'Exit Fo[u]r.' Was this project inspired by anything in particular?
I wanted to create a story, something that would be specific to my experiences but that also had the versatility to relate to anyone who would listen. The album is all about observing, experiencing, overcoming, and growing. It is a snapshot of a journey. The title was inspired by my own journey, specifically my journey to college. Exit 4 is the exit I take in NJ to get home as well as the exit I would take in upstate NY to get to school. I feel as though there is something to be said about a journey that begins and ends symbolically in the same fashion. The brackets around the “u” give the title a second meaning in that, in life, the only way to reach your fullest potential is to take the exit for you.
How did you achieve such soothing and soulful sonics/instrumentation for your album 'Exit Fo[u]r'? Did you work with any other creators during this process?
I had the pleasure of working with a handful of incredibly talented creators on this album. It was such an honor to work with each and every one of them:
album artwork --- Juliette Fogra
photography --- Tiffany Simone
bass guitar/upright bass (tracks 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10) --- Joe Benevento
bass guitar (track 4) --- Nick Vollbrecht
drums (tracks 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 10) --- Josh Morris
banjo, mandolin (tracks 1, 2, 5, 9) --- Rit Carroll
backing vocals, piano (track 1) --- Connor Wallowitz
saw (track 1) --- Aaron Borenstein
slide guitar (track 2) --- Andrew McKenna Lee
electric guitar, acoustic guitar (tracks 1, 2, 3, 4) --- Tyler Schmidt
vocals, piano, aux percussion, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, aux piano --- Julianna Sweeney
music, arrangement --- Julianna Sweeney
producer --- Julianna Sweeney, (Andrew McKenna Lee - track 2)
engineer --- Julianna Sweeney, Tyler Schmidt
Was there a particular story you wanted to tell within the entirety of your album 'Exit Fo[u]r?' How did you want your audience to feel after experiencing the project?
I wanted the audience to feel a sense of hope and perseverance from this project. Life is anything but easy, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth it. The album is one story after another of overcoming pain and heartbreak, learning from mistakes, and seeing the beauty in what’s in front of you.
Is there a song from your album 'Exit Fo[u]r' that was the most challenging to write in terms of emotion and vulnerability?
In terms of vulnerability and emotion, I would have to say that “ready” and “exposed” were the two that were the most challenging to write. They both touch on subjects that are sensitive to me and that took me a long time to realize or understand. Those songs were like therapy to write and even seeing as they were some of the most challenging, they are now two of the songs that I am most proud of.
Seeing as 'Exit Fo[u]r' is your debut album, how can listeners get to know you and your brand better through this project?
The best way for new listeners to get to know me and my brand better through this project is to understand my mission. I live to give back through my music. I lost my mom to metastatic breast cancer a few months before graduating high school back in 2017. She dedicated her life to helping others and has inspired me to do the same. Through this project, my goal is to raise money for childhood cancer research - a cause that was close to my mom’s heart. I’m doing that through merch and CD sales, a GoFundMe page, and all royalties from the first 11 days of streams. This project is more than just music for its own sake - it’s about paying it forward through the thing I’m most passionate about, and it’s about inspiring and empowering others to do the same.