Strange Scars is the second album from singer-songwriter Julia Brown. Her first album, Jubilant Newborn Alien Haze, in 2001, garnered a surprising amount of critical praise and attention for an independent release. And what happened in the subsequent years? The Richmond, Virginia native began to play acoustic shows and gather songs for a second release. "At some point I got really disturbed by how angry and negative my songs had become. Your songs are just your life looking back at you; I didn't feel right spraying so much pessimism out into the world. For a while I actually thought I would stop singing and writing all together. So I did stop. I let the air around me get really still. And then \'Unburden\' happened." You gotta be light as a feather/for that climb up to the moon All I want is to unburden you \'Unburden\' is about feeling the deepest breed of sympathy for another person in pain. "That song was a signal that things were changing, in my music and in my life." Out of the Strange Scars writing sessions emerged rich, nuanced compositions, and lyrics that express the complexity of one human experience. "These songs reflect my life in a very palpable way. There is light and shade in all of them." Among the album's many themes are self-exploration, growth through pain, and reaching self-acceptance. She sings in \'In Hurt's Arms\': I am in hurt's arms/you cannot touch me here Was in a place I could not stay/soul needed to free fall There is a clear trajectory, a definite emotional progression, from the first song to the last: from \'Puer Aeternus\'-a turbulent creative spirit keeping it's wings in the air-and \'1000 Paper Princes\'-musings on how Eve might have felt about Adam after being cast out of the Garden of Eden-to \'London Days\'-choosing to remember the positive moments of a now-broken relationship. From the initial meetings with the people on her production team, Strange Scars took two years to realize. "We traveled up and down the eastern seaboard, really. We started demoing in a small Brooklyn kitchen, tracked most of it in a couple of studios in Brooklyn. But we also went up to Kingston, Ontario to record the drums, and then down to North Carolina to record vocals and to mix." And where did Julia get her album title? From Henry James, the American-born British author most famous for writing The Turn of the Screw: \'And, then, I don\'t want any second-hand, spurious sensations; I want the knowledge that leaves a trace-that leaves strange scars and stains and reveries behind it.\' - Henry James "I had had the quote posted on my wall for the longest time, and one day the title just jumped out and grabbed me by the throat."
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