By Marcia Hunt
The EP's cover. Photo via Julia Klot.
The EP is a musical journey of self-discovery, as she explores both a new sound and pandemic ponderings. It’s also a celebration of her musical maturity, as it’s her first release since her 2019 album “Brooklyn.”
“These songs were written by me just sitting down and expelling everything out of my head,” Klot said. “I didn’t like really think about the lyrics at all. They just happened and then I was like ‘Oh, that’s how I’m really feeling?’ I just wrote what I was internalizing. It helped me realize how I was feeling about certain situations.”
“Ghost” documents the progression of a relationship, with each song exploring different parts of a larger romantic cycle. It was written last summer as she overcame a case of writer’s block that lasted several months. She attributes the block to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Right at the beginning of the pandemic, I felt like my creativity was stunted,” she said. “I didn’t know what to write about because I didn’t feel like anything was going on. But the pandemic put me in some emotional situations which were harder for me to deal with. It caused my writing to become more vulnerable when the creativity did finally hit.”
The EP opens with the title track “Ghost.” The song begins with a compelling piano line that drives the piece. The chorus features a haunting string quartet arrangement, written by Klot, that carries through the entire piece.
“’Ghost’ [the track] is about losing touch with a person, but their memory is still haunting you,” she explained. “I think it has the most well thought arrangement on the album and it’s something I’m very proud of. It’s one of my favorites on the EP.”
The lyrics are poignant and relatable. She sings, "It could be your ghost whispering the last words you said, spinning them ‘round and around over again my head.” It is an effective ode to the yearning and heartbreak that comes long after a relationship is over.
Klot takes the EP in a familiar direction with the second track “Temporary Tattoo.” It is a piano ballad about the anxieties that come with starting a new relationship. Stylistically, it is a homage to her old sound.
“’Temporary Tattoo’ is a throwback to my organic piano style, which has really been my style since I was in high school,” she said. “I haven’t written a song like that since I was in high school when it was just me and my piano. Of course, the piano is more complex, but the style is the same.”
“Temporary Tattoo” is more stripped back compared to the rest of the EP, which features heavy layering and complex orchestration. This track is a testament that sometimes, less really means more. The simpler composition is the perfect backdrop for her to traverse the rocky, but real, nature of new beginnings.
The fifth and final track of the EP, “I’ve Cried for You,” is the most gut-wrenching song of the album. As the title suggests, it is a huge contrast to the upbeat tracks we’ve heard from Klot prior to this EP. It is also the most distinct piece on the album.
“’I’ve Cried for You’ is my favorite song on the album because it’s one of my most vulnerable songs on the EP,” she explained. “I feel like that’s reflected very well in the instrumentation and I really had fun playing around with synth sounds to get that specific sound. It’s really a special song to me.”
While the rest of the album is focused on lyrics and more intricate instrumentals, the final track is entirely atmospheric. The vulnerable lyrics, paired with swelling vocals and elongated chords, create a transfixing piece that sits with the listener long after the song is over.
The track acts as a closing statement, a cliffhanger, both to the story of the relationship and Klot’s ever-evolving musical sound.
“Writing music is a very reflective process for me,” she said. “I sit down and learn new things about myself and I’m discovering things I’m holding onto that I don’t realize until the songs are done. I really want the instrumentals to reflect the emotions of the lyrics, and that how I think my songs get so vulnerable.”
The EP was inspired by Klot’s own experiences, especially as the pandemic caused her and her partner to continue their relationship over long distance.
“I’m hoping people will go into the EP knowing how vulnerable it is and that they’ll listen to it and kind of relate to it,” she added.
“Ghost” is an intimate and dynamic dive into the universal feelings of how unconditional love transcends time and distance. It is an essential listen for those who are looking for a musically rich and honest retelling of what it means to love.