• By: Samantha Lapierre

Speaking the Language with Julie Corrigan

Photo courtesy of Jen Squires

Born and raised in Shawville, Quebec, to a family of musicians, it’s no surprise that Julie Corrigan took easily to strumming the guitar. With a fiddle-playing grandfather, a guitarist for a father and a mother who’s a natural on the piano and mandolin, music is in Julie’s blood. Thanks to her parents’ jamming parties, Corrigan’s love of music began at an early age and today, she is making her mark on the industry.

A regular player on the Ottawa music circuit, she caught the eye of legendary producer Dave Draves at Little Bullhorn Studios and this past October she released her first full length album, The Language, at the National Arts Centre 4th Stage.

Corrigan describes working with Draves and recording her album with him as a dream come true. Draves has worked with countless artists such as Kathleen Edwards, Kate Maki, Snailhouse and Jim Bryson. “(Draves) knew what to do with each song, and he put so much work and care into everything, down to the perfect tambourine sound. “After creating demos of a handful of Corrigan’s songs, Draves encouraged her to write more. Excited by the recording process, Corrigan got to work. The result, five years later, is The Language.

Corrigan says she writes from human experiences, as well as difficult situations that she sees friends or loved ones facing. While writing and recording, Corrigan herself was in the middle of a transition from a major breakup and songwriting was a process of rediscovery for her. “Though it was a rough time,” Corrigan says, “it certainly inspired a lot of songs.”

Corrigan may write her own material, but she also does some great covers which she posts on YouTube. Her most popular is a cover of Adele’s Someone Like You which has over 80,000 views. Social media has paid off for her. Corrigan garnered a gig in Washington, DC, at the French Embassy after the YouTube postings.

While Corrigan describes herself as shy and quiet, her voice is anything but. The Language is chock-full of songs featuring Corrigan’s smoky and soaring vocals. She sings about love, loss and the yearning for home. Corrigan cites musical influences such as Fiona Apple, No Doubt, Ian & Sylvia, Johnny Cash and John Prine. While its clear that Corrigan channels much of her writing and performing from these artists, her sound is still her own. Corrigan is planning to promote The Language by driving and performing across Canada in 2016.

“I am very excited to see our beautiful country, meet new people, play music, and share my first album with everyone. Touring Canada will be a mighty project, and I am so excited about it.” So are we.