Jula marks a first release for Denver label Collectible Records. The album is available online digitally and for mail order.
Recorded by Kevin Ratterman in his Louisville studio La La Land, Jula is the long-awaited follow-up LP to 2009's Hunter Moon, which was lauded for its "airy intimacy and elegance... wistful themes and relatively spare orchestrations [and its] honesty and passion" (Robin Hilton, NPR's All Songs Considered).
While Hunter Moon excelled in showcasing the band's unusual arrangements, Jula truly exceeds. With their signature combination of experimental jazz percussion, classical strings, and arsenal of roots/folk instruments, Spirits of the Red City have created a rare sense of space; even while the full instrumental lineup is sparingly applied, the music never seems bare nor overwhelming. And whether in calm croon, lilting lament, or yelling in desperation, songwriter Will Garrison maintains a breathless intensity that supports his humble, honest and intelligent poetry.
Though nearly all the Spirits of the Red City have at one time called Minneapolis their home, in the years since Hunter Moon's release all but Garrison have dispersed-- to Alaska, California, Colorado, Michigan, and New York. Despite their geographic disparity, they have devotedly toured all around the States-- performing in theaters and art galleries, back-yards and basements, parks and caves, on farms and ocean piers. And while Garrison does most of his songwriting at home in Minneapolis, each song's intricate orchestration is never fully realized until the ensemble is on the road. This process for the Spirits-- the patience that carries relationships though months of distance, the yearning that builds, and the ecstasy of reunion -- is what makes Jula a delicacy that was worth the wait.