Written by Ashley Friedman
Today, Julia Ryan premieres her soulful new single “Slow It Down” with us! If you like the smooth, sultry vocals of Norah Jones mixed with Corinne Bailey Rae’s swag, this song is for you.
From the first note, we hear a beat that gives off a very jazzy soulful vibe. The guitar riffs in the background are subtle, the bass is consistent and there’s even a few keyboard chords thrown into the mix. In the beginning, it’s almost like the instrumentals are faded into the background as Ryan whispers her favorite line, “Love is what you need / you crave it so bad, it takes over everything / but you’re afraid of the pain…” before effortlessly singing a phrase repeated throughout the song “slow it down, slow it down, down, down.”
“The summer that I started to write “Slow It Down” was around the time Allen Stone came out with his album “Radius” and I was so inspired by the music, melodies and vibe of the songs on that album,” says Ryan. “I saw him live in Oakland later that year and loved how he presented the music (on a recording and live in concert) to his listeners and how he connected to people… I wanted to be able to do something similar but in my own way that would inspire others the way Allen Stone inspired me.”
Throughout the song, Ryan talks about love and the idea of a person that likes the idea of love, but has yet to love themselves, almost like that person is rushing the process. By repeating “Slow it down, slow it down” it’s almost like Ryan is telling this person that they have to take love one step at a time in order to avoid their constant contradictions. We see these contradictions in lyrics like, “You want to stay high/but you don’t want to leave the ground./ You want to stay in love/ but you don’t want to be let down/ what do you really want?”
“I wrote this song during a time in my life when I didn’t love myself…” says Ryan. “People were doing superficial things just to get a little love from someone else and I started to think, maybe we all do these superficial things out of fear of rejection? The day I took a moment to look around and reflect on what was happening around me and how these outside things affected me on the inside, was the day I decided to change that.”
In a live performance of “Slow It Down” nearly a year ago, we see even more of Julia Ryan in her element. Her sound is near identical to the recorded version with a little extra flare. For a song that took a night to skeletonize and a year to revise, Ryan does a great job with the lyrical imagery throughout every bit of the song, especially in lyrics like, “You broke for love, but you love money/ love don’t drip like gold honey.”
“We all want love, but we are all afraid of that feeling of rejection because we think there might be something wrong with us if we do get rejected. This song is saying even if rejection happens, you are still worthy of receiving love, inside and out,” says Ryan.
Just last month, Julia released a single called ” To The Top” via Billboard and today releases “Slow It Down.” Both songs are featured on Julia’s forthcoming EP, Unfolding Soul, which is set for release by the end of the year. Listen to “Slow It Down” below!
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