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Juliana Hatfield


Country of origin:

U.S.

Type of music generally:

Alternately crunchy and twee indie poprock

Status:

Most recent release, Whatever, My Love (as The Juliana Hatfield Three, 2015)

See also:

Juliana Hatfield's official site

Wikipedia's entry on Juliana Hatfield

Site for Minor Alps, her collaboration with Matthew Caws

Also collaborating with Paul Westerberg as the I Don't Cares. Debut album Wild Stab released 2016.

Comparisons:

Often compared to alternative singer-songwriters like Tanya Donelly and Liz Phair and to more melodic artists like Mary Lou Lord

Covers/own material:

Own

General comments:

Juliana Hatfield was with the Blake Babies before going solo.

Juliana's music entered my life when I was 14. She had an enormous impact in my life at the time. It was the first time I heard music that I could truly relate to emotionally. Looking back, her work seems a little amateur-ish, and not as mind-blowing as it was at the time. Of course, when you're a teenager, everything is so heightened! Still, she was with me during some dark times in my life, and I'll never forget her for it. Her latest album almost won me back, but it ended up being kinda forgettable. :-( (lasherboy@gmail.com)

Juliana probably will never get played again on commercial radio, despite her latest album [Bed] being probably one of her strongest works to date. Most of Juliana's work is catchy accessible. (iflin@speakeasy.net)

Comments about live performance:

Joe's Pub 21st May: Slow strummy guitar songs with pleasant piano accompaniment. Relationships and drugs and relationships with people on drugs. All new songs except "You choose drugs" which was particularly pretty (but also slow and strummy and druggy). Three covers—"Bad moon rising", "It's only rock and roll (but I like it)" and, oddly, "What's a girl to do" by Bat for Lashes. Juliana didn't introduce any of the covers, which is fine for the recognizable ones but not fair on Bat for Lashes—surrounded by completely new material, most of the audience would think it's her music.
     The songs that deviated from pleasant strumminess were best. A bloke from Nada Surf added vocals and guitar color to a song about a pretty girl in an ugly world; a bloke from Fountains of Wayne added melody and rawk to two songs. Juliana urged the audience to sing along to a cute grumpy number ["Just Lust" from How to Walk Away] about letting in a drunken lover at 3am, "it's just lust, it doesn't mean I love you" (and later, "I might not even like you").
     We laughed when she told how she had dug an old Dead Kennedys' button out of her drawer and attached it to her purse, but then Ted got sick and she felt as his constituent she should remove the button. She dedicated the final number 'He's on drugs again' to its author, Some Girls bandmate LonPaul Ellrich, who died a couple weeks ago.
     She'll tour with a band when the new album comes out in August. I wouldn't see her again with just a piano/backing vocalist, but with fuller sounds and drums it could be worth it. (5/08, k_hester_k@yahoo.co.nz)

We went to see Juliana Hatfield in NYC last night. I haven't seen her in five years, but I remembered that last time her show was pretty amusing. Her songs were so catchy and fun that I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, even though she bordered on being so stereotypically bad it was funny. Last night was a bit of a disappointment though. She spent over an hour playing a set of almost all new material, which I didn't think measured up to her "Only Everything" days. Neither did a lot of other people in the audience from what I saw, as the crowd only showed significant signs of dancing during the two older songs she played.
     At one point, a couple guys shouted out that they were in a nostalgic mood, to which Juliana replied that she "needed to stay modern and alternative". I think it would have been a much better show if she'd played some of her older crowd-pleasing hits though. (9/00, carnivore@bigfoot.com)

I saw Juliana Hatfield at the Knitting Factory (L.A.) tonight. OK show. She had Freda Love (Blake Babies, Mysteries of Life) on drums and Heidi Gluck on bass and backing vox. It's always tough to really enjoy a Juliana show because she's not the most comfortable and engaging performer. But I still like her. (8/02, paul2k@aol.com)

Juliana Hatfield opened for Aimee Mann—stunningly, it was the first time woj and I have ever seen her play. And after seeing her once, I don't feel an overwhelming need to see her again. She said about three words to the audience, and spent her set staring at her left hand on the frets of her guitar, acting like she'd rather be anywhere else but there. (Is this how she usually is on stage?) All of her songs ended up sounding pretty much the same, too. I must admit I've never been a huge fan anyway, but if she had put on a more inspired performance I'm sure I would have enjoyed it. Even so, as openers go we could have been subjected to *much* worse. (10/02, meth@smoe.org)

Juliana Hatfield opened solo for Aimee Mann—I have much preferred seeing her with a band. A good set, but it felt a little awkward. (10/02, dlw@sympatico.ca)

Recommended first album:

I would absolutely recommend Only Everything first.. great lyrics, catchy songs.. I think it's one of her best. (lasherboy@gmail.com)

Recordings:

  • I See You EP (1992)
  • Forever Baby EP (1992)
  • Hey Babe (1992)
  • Become What You Are (as The Juliana Hatfield Three, 1993)
  • My Sister EP (as The Juliana Hatfield Three, 1993)
  • For the Birds EP (as The Juliana Hatfield Three, 1993)
  • Spin the Bottle EP (as The Juliana Hatfield Three, 1993)
  • Only Everything (1995)
  • Universal Heart—Beat EP (1995)
  • Please Do Not Disturb EP (1997)
  • Bed (1998)
  • Beautiful Creature (2000)
  • Juliana's Pony: Total System Failure (2000)
  • Gold Stars 1992—2002: The Juliana Hatfield Collection (2002)
  • In Exile Deo (2004)
  • Made in China (2005)
  • The White Broken Line: Live Recordings (live, 2006)
  • Sittin' in a Tree EP (with Frank Smith, 2007)
  • How to Walk Away (2008)
  • Peace & Love (2010)
  • There's Always Another Girl (2011)
  • Juliana Hatfield (covers, 2012)
  • Wild Animals (2013)
  • Whatever, My Love (as The Juliana Hatfield Three, 2015)

Become What You Are

Release info:

1993—Atlantic/Mammoth—7 92278-2

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Juliana Hatfield—guitars and vocals
Dean Fisher—bass
Todd Philips—drums

Guest artists:

Peter Holsapple—keyboards
Denny Fongheiser—percussion

Produced by:

Scott Litt

Comments:

I'm pretty sure I got this album in high school after reading a review. I wasn't into grunge and kind of half-liked the album, enough to keep the cassette around for over a decade and occasionally listen to it in the car. I listened to the album on CD for the first time some 18 or 19 years after its release and found that I have a similar response to it, only now the grunginess doesn't sound nearly as harsh. I like pretty much the same songs I liked in the past. I think it's not really lyrically sophisticated, but much of it is catchy and works in its own way. For example, "My Sister" really nails the frenemy relationship of sisters, which is all the more striking considering that Juliana doesn't have one. Now the album is on my iPod and I listen to it every once a while, probably more often than I did all those years it was sitting in my car. (JoAnn Whetsell)

The only other Juliana I have is a Blake Babies disc, so this is similar, but different enough to call her own. A good, "poppy" disc. (Matt Bittner)


Please Do Not Disturb

Release info:

1997

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Juliana Hatfield—vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards

Guest artists:

Mike Leahy—guitar
Tim O'Heir—Moog synthesizer
Todd Philips—drums, percussion
Mickey Welsh—bass

Comments:

What's Juliana been up to since her great Only Everything? Only the best work of her career. God's Foot, here I come. (beckwith@ime.net)

Bed

Release info:

1998

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Juliana Hatfield—vocals, guitar, keyboards

Guest artists:

Todd Philips—drums, percussion
Mickey Welsh—bass

Produced by:

Juliana Hatfield

Comments:

Bed was great. confrontational, bitter and full of spunk. (iflin@speakeasy.net)

How to Walk Away

Release info:

2008—Ye Olde Records—YOR 006

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Juliana Hatfield—vocals, acoustic and electric rhythm guitars, acoustic guitar, lead guitars, 12—string, guitar, piano, keyboards, heavy breathing

Guest artists:

Andy Chase (Ivy)—keyboards, electric keyboards, arpeggio guitars, electric rhythm guitar, loop, synths, drum program, melodika, overdubbed high bass, background vocals
Jody Porter—lead guitar, atmospheric guitars, guitar embellishments
Jeff Hill—bass, cello
Ethan Eubanks—drums, drum fills
Tracy Bonham—violins
Peter Adams—piano
Jason Hatfield—piano
Richard Butler—background vocals (3)
Rudyard Lee Cullers—background vocals (6)
Matthew Caws—background vocals (9)

Produced by:

Andy Chase (Ivy)

Comments:

I had a couple of Juliana's early albums but haven't followed her career. I got interested again after hearing about her new memoir (though I haven't read it yet). How to Walk Away is a real treat. It's very melodic pop but retains some of the crunchiness of Juliana's early albums. One of my favorite albums of 2008. (JoAnn Whetsell)

I've been a fan of Juliana Hatfield (and her work with the Blake Babies) since the mid-'90s, but haven't cared for much of her stuff since Bed. This is a surprisingly good batch of songs from her. Great music, lyrics, production. Worth checking out! (lasherboy@gmail.com)


Peace & Love

Release info:

2010—YOR 007

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Medium

Group members:

Juliana Hatfield—vocals, all instruments

Produced by:

Juliana Hatfield

Comments:

I'm pretty mixed on this album. Sometimes I appreciate the simplicity of the album, like this is Juliana hanging out in her bedroom or garage. Other times I wish the songs were more fleshed out and think that the sparseness emphasizes the weaknesses of Juliana's voice. So I guess that means I don't love the album, and how much I like it depends on my mood. My favorite track is, notably, the jangly instrumental "Unsung" with "Faith in Our Friends" being another track I always enjoy. (JoAnn Whetsell)

There's Always Another Girl

Release info:

2011—Ye Olde Records

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Comments:

This album isn't high on my list of Juliana's work. It moves from melodic guitar songs to crunchier/grungier songs without any real standouts to draw me in. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Juliana Hatfield

Release info:

2012—Ye Olde Records

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Comments:

It took a couple of listens to get into it, but I really like this collection of mostly low-key covers. Kudos for including less often covered songs. Highlights include "Cells," "Selfmachine," and "Closet." (JoAnn Whetsell)

Further info:

Juliana is the author of When I Grow Up: A Memoir (2008).

Recordings that only appear on compilations include:

  • "Yeh, Yeh" on the Fathers and Song soundtrack (1992)
  • "Make It Home" on the My So-Called Life soundtrack (1994) and You Sleigh Me! (2011)
  • "Josie and The Pussycats" with Tanya Donelly on Saturday Morning Cartoons' Greatest Hits (1995)
  • "Waves" on Volume 13: The Lucky Issue (1995)
  • "Witches' Song" on The Craft soundtrack (1996)
  • "Silly Goofball Pomes" on Kerouac: Kicks Joy Darkness (1997)
  • "$1,000 Wedding" with Evan Dando on Return of the Grievous Angel: A Tribute to Gram Parsons (1999)
  • "Harder and Deeper" on the Condo Painting soundtrack (2000)
  • "Going Nowhere" on the charity album Too Many Years (2005)
  • "Don't Lie to Me" on Big Star Small World (2006)
  • "Back to Freedom" on The Green Owl Compilation: A Benefit for the Energy Action Coalition (2008)
  • "We're Not in Charleston Anymore" on Ciao My Shining Star: The Songs of Mark Mulcahy (2009)


Thanks to JoAnn Whetsell for work on this entry.

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Entry last updated 2016-07-21 14:05:15.
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