Seattle singer-songwriter Julia Francis is set to release her first new music following a decade-long hiatus When You Get What You Want on July 31st. A born singer, Francis during her time has moved through the worlds of classical choral works and musical theater to jazz, blues, and rock and roll. A professionally trained actor and author (her novel Victory Garden garnered grants and awards including a month residency at the vaunted Vermont Studio Center), Francis fell into corporate marketing by accident after college and discovered a way to support herself and fund her art. The ear-trained, self-taught guitarist produced and toured two albums nationally: Five Challenges to Flight (2005) and Lucky Penny (2008).
When You Get What You Want was written in her home studio in South Seattle: a cedar-lined oasis with twinkling lights, patchwork rugs, and a 1940’s barber chair that belonged to her father-in-law (who bankrolled his son’s band Violent Femmes and their first album.) When the time came to track the record, Francis turned to acclaimed producer Steve Fisk (Ben Gibbard, Car Seat Headrest). In December 2019 they settled into Seattle’s Avast Recording for a three-day session, playing live in one big room and cutting the whole thing in single takes.
Joining Francis and Fisk in the studio were Darren Loucas (guitar), Mark Lutwak (keys), Mike Peterson (drums), and Rebecca Young (bass). Carrie Akre (Hammerbox) contributed vocals on “Drawers”, and Tendai ‘Baba’ Maraire (Shabazz Palaces) played congas on the title track. Pearl the chihuahua provided emotional support.
Today, Francis has shared the single “When You Get What You Want”. “The song came to me super-fast, all at once, so I didn’t question it. I played it a lot on my acoustic guitar at first and thought it was effective as a whispered, slightly confrontational blues ditty. But then I took it to my band and it became an explosive rock anthem with no fucks left to give. This is a tough-love song direct from Mother Earth, played in the key of ‘what the hell were you thinking’. We have the choice to re-evaluate what’s most important in our lives and find peace within. Lucky us, we have that window wide open to us right now,” Francis said.