Photo Credit: Emily Jemiolo | Follow Emily @emilyjemiolo
Write Up By Ashley Friedman
Julia Wolf, a singer-songwriter from Queens, NY, writes music for ‘“the girls that are too afraid to speak their minds”’ as she so eloquently put in an interview with Spotify. Her performance at Governors Ball helped showcase that reality as well as bring to life the idea of trying to fit in.
To start off her set, the crowd hears a subtle, “Yeah, I guess we are starting,” as the singer-songwriter walks out on stage, smiling, diving into her first song “Villain.”
Adorned in all black, sporting a crop top and shorts with chaps, the concertgoers yell “you’re beautiful.” The singer-songwriter has a specific type of swag that’s uncanny.
Often drawing from influences within the hip-hop and indie world, Wolf speaks highly of 808s and trap drums, and her song “Villain,” isn’t short of that vibe.
In her second song of the day, “Hydra,” Wolf holds her middle finger in the air as she sings, “This is for the best, / you don’t see it yet, / This is for the best, / f*ck did you expect?“
In an interview with Quadio, she comments, ‘“I discovered that by writing music, I could let people know what’s going on without directly talking to them.”‘
Following the song, there’s a brief intermission as she tells the crowd she’s In her hometown of NY. She goes on to say that she grew up an extremely shy kid… “I could not talk to people period,” she comments. “If someone is toxic… you cut them out. This next one is for anyone who has ever felt underestimated or not seen.”
Wolf then goes into her song, “In My Way.” The crowd goes crazy as the singer-songwriter drops it down low, and videos of bats and ghosts are playing in the background.
Next up is “Nikes,” a song describing people’s internal struggle when trying to stay interested in someone without getting distracted. Part of the Movie Twilight plays in the background and a video of a guy with blood-ridden fingers is left on the screen for a good minute.
Wolf continues with her set diving into “Ghost.” “[This is the] first song that my producer and I worked on together,” she says. A video of traveling through a foggy, dusk-lit crowd of trees begins to play. Its meaning is straightforward — ghosting someone whether it’s because you don’t like them anymore or you’re trying to give them time to heal from their experiences.
The singer-songwriter finishes the song and makes her way over to the piano. “I want to dedicate this next song to someone in the crowd. This is dedicated to my sister Cameron.” The festivalgoers hear Cameron in the crowd yell in support of her sister.
She then goes on to play the piano, starting the beginning of the hit song, “Immortale,” a ballad originally produced from her bedroom. The song is about appreciating the small things in life because you never know, they may make a major difference in life later on.
Wolf wraps up “Immortale” only to go into a brief commentary of “resting bitch face.” Who else has a resting bitch face?” Wolf asks. She then goes on to play the hit song.
The singer then heads into “Play It Safe” as a video of wolves playing in the background. The song finishes and Wolf asks the crowd…
“Would it be cool to play some unreleased music?” Wolf then talks about a huge label that had reached out in the past, paid for her travel to meet with them, and then stood her up. That label is still reaching out to this day. As an untold answer, her response can be told best through her lyrics, “You should probably get off my d*ck.”
“My trailer is right next to Jack Harlow’s [trailer], I’m obviously freaking out about it,” she says after finishing her new unreleased song. Harlow, if you don’t know, is one of Wolf’s biggest rap influences.
Soon enough Wolf finds herself back on the piano singing “Girl In Purgatory.” She then goes on to talk about playing in the club at age seventeen and the impact that had on her confidence to be who she was. Music at that point became a safe escape of expression She begins to sing, “R.I.P. to the club / Vampires hunting for blood.”
“Falling In Love” is her next song, a popular body of work amongst the crowd. Wolf then goes into a newer track that she hasn’t had the chance to sing live called “Hot Killer.”
Of course, we couldn’t go a day without the alt-pop anthem, “Hoops.” In an interview with American Songwriter, Wolf tells the publication that she ‘”wanted to make the track highlight the lyrics as much as possible, and pull from the hip hop influence that I’ve always loved… Lyrics always come first.’”
Stay tuned for Elicit’s exclusive interview with Julia Wolf coming soon!