PONY UP presents Lonelady
Julie Campbell, A.K.A LoneLady, is a musician, songwriter, singer and producer from Manchester, England. Inspired by British post-punk Julie first started making recordings in the early-mid 2000s on a 4-track cassette recorder in her towerblock flat in Manchester while completing a Fine Art Degree. Self-taught on many instruments including guitar, bass, synths, drum machines and later learning cello, Julie writes all the parts and plays all the instruments on her recordings, with the exception of real drums.
LoneLady has returned (March 2021) with new single “(There Is) No Logic”, a punchy electro and R&B tinged track, released via Warp Records. “(There Is) No Logic” fuses humanity and hardware, with unruly chopped-up vocal samples layered over twisting machine-funk rhythms. The song was written, produced and performed by Julie Campbell.
Inspired by Memento Mori paintings, a medieval art style that served as a symbolic representation of the inevitability of death, “(There Is) No Logic” re-interprets this for the 21st century. LoneLady’s tongue is firmly in her cheek, pairing blackly humorous tidings of doom with an irrepressible dancefloor energy.
Speaking on the track, LoneLady says, “it just really encapsulates so many cool electro sounds and even some r’n’b vocal stylings. It was fun sampling ‘do’ and ‘dah’ vocals and running them through the sequencer to get that choppy-collaged effect, definitely a Cabaret Voltaire influence there. The technology gods were happy that day and it all came together in a really fresh and immediate way.”
There is an immediacy and raw energy to the track: a playful spirit in the middle of the thumping electronic maze. This was a purposeful choice from LoneLady, showing an artist with true confidence in their craft. “The melody came almost instantaneously and the lyrics almost wrote themselves. Some of these vocals are in fact the ‘scratch’ takes, or first takes.”
“(There Is) No Logic” is an incisive return following her previous album ‘Hinterland’, it’s the sound of a creative engine igniting once again.
LoneLady’s starkly urgent debut album ‘’Nerve Up’’ was released on Warp in 2010 to critical acclaim. Showcasing Julie’s choppy, intricate and economical guitar playing and judiciously sparse arrangements, John Doran (The Quietus) in the NME called it a “unique, brilliant debut … we should celebrate LoneLady as the arrival of a fresh and invigorating voice whose talent transcends time and space and influence’’. Co-produced with Guy Fixsen through their shared love of Martin Hannet, influenced in particular by his ‘dehumanised’ and ‘cold’ drum sound.
Julie’s second album ”Hinterland” was released to widespread critical acclaim in 2015. Its longer, groove-oriented tracks reflect Julie’s expanding musical palette, now incorporating elements of electronic dance music and funk. Inspired by psychogeography, the landscapes of a very personal Manchester are invoked in every song. As with Nerve Up, playing all instruments except real drums, (played by Andrew Cheetham on both albums) Julie recorded, mixed and produced Hinterland to near-completion in her home studio in Manchester, entirely alone. She then travelled to Keyclub Recording Co, Michigan, for some finishing touches and additional production with Bill Skibbe, using a mixing desk previously owned by Sly Stone.
The Quietus called it a “vibrant and urgent combination of genealogy and vision – and it is this that truly makes it a masterpiece.” All four singles released from Hinterland reached the ‘A’ Playlist on BBC6 Music and in 2015 Julie also received a Sky Arts Nomination for Best Breakthrough Artist.