Even in an age of Do-It-Yourself singer songwriters that no longer make us gasp in awe, Julie Feeney takes the biscuit; she not only wrote the music for this album, but produced it, funded it, created the album sleeve and will release it on her own record label. It makes the mind wonder what people's self-belief in their music can drive them to achieve. For Julie Feeney, this has undoubtedly paid off. '13 Songs' was awarded the Choice Music Prize - Irish Album of the Year in February, but has yet to be released in the UK. And thankfully when this happens in early 2007, it will have the backing of 'Red Ink', Sony BMG's daughter label, so Julie won't have to journey back and forth between her home CD printing kit and record stores, mounting 500 copies to the back of a bicycle; not that this is at all her style of distribution of course; she may not own a bike.
Anywho '13 Songs' is indeed good for something, despite my misleading sarcasm. The opener 'Aching' is a worthy example; it apparently contains the longest retained vocal note on any record, 28 seconds of unbroken voice in the line "I'm ach-ing for you," which is by no means a cheap party trick. The song is fraught with deep emotion that may unfortunately be destined for the sullen scenes of a "terribly English" romantic comedy. The album is consistently brooding, and especially when this is vocally inspired it can get rather tiresome, on 'Autopilot' and 'Alien' for example. By track 10, you will have probably had enough. Other highlights include 'You Broke The Magic' and 'Wastin'.