Julia Easterlin

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Hite (Julia Easterlin)
Born Georgia, United States
Website http://www.heyhite.com/ http://www.juliaeasterlin.com/

Julia Easterlin, now professionally known as Hite, is an American singer/songwriter born in Georgia. Her earlier music uses a looping machine which allows her to layer several recordings of her own voice, an effect which The Boston Globe described as a "One-woman a capella group."[1] She perfected this technique at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, and later played in Berklee's CMJ Music Marathon showcase in New York City.[2] She continues to grow in popularity, most notably playing at Lollapalooza and SXSW.[3]

Biography[edit]

Born into a musical family, Julia Easterlin cites her mother's singing and her grandfather's gift of a piano as formative parts of her musical experience.[4] She enrolled in a school of fine arts after moving to Augusta, Georgia at age 6 where she learned about world music, jazz, and opera. Later, in 2007, she started studying at Berklee College of Music on a full scholarship.[3] Her accomplishments have included giving a TED Talk as part of the TEDxWomen L.A. event in 2011, being named one of only 20 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts in 2008, and performing at the Stockholm Jazz Festival in 2015.[5][6][7] As of fall 2014 she has also played in 10 Sofar Sounds shows.[8]

Known for her looping technique, Easterlin uses primarily a BOSS RC-50 loop station, a Shure SM58 vocal mic, and, sometimes, a floor tom.[9] The vocal looping technique has since been popularized by tUnE-yArDs, Andrew Bird, and Imogen Heap.[9] Easterlin's experimental style can be described as a combination of several different musical genres which she came across through her education and upbringing such as jazz, gospel, and Southern folk. She has named Björk and Philip Glass as influences.[4]

In 2017, Easterlin began pushing her music outside the realm of her usual looping and layering with the release of "Light Of A Strange Day" via Six Degrees Records. Featuring baroque pop and Appalachian folk music elements, the acoustic album soars with lyrical expression, focusing on storytelling rather than the twirling and twisting of sound. The result is a whole new kind of musical work for Easterlin which John Schaefer of NPR Music calls "at once lovely and unsettling... a striking debut." [10]

This departure from her previous use of looping also marks a departure from her artistic identification as Julia Easterlin, hence the use of her new pseudonym "Hite." She explains that "releasing [the record] under the Julia Easterlin name (which is so attached to loops and upbeat, poppy vocal music) felt somehow… dishonest. It's been a decade since I wrote my first piece of looped vocal music, and I needed a fresh new home for my new music, so different from previous work." [11] When it came to choosing a new name, the choice seemed obvious; "Hite" is her middle name and her great-grandmother's maiden name. It now embodies the woman and musician Easterlin has become.

Discography[edit]

  • Go Straightaway! (2012)
  • v e s t i g e s (2013)
  • Touristes with Vieux Farka Touré (2015)
  • Light of a Strange Day (2017)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Chadwick Stokes creates uneasy mix of moody verse and chirpy vibe - Music - The Boston Globe". BostonGlobe.com. 
  2. ^ "New York Bound: Here's who's playing the Berklee & Vanyaland CMJ Music Marathon Showcase party - Vanyaland". Vanyaland. 
  3. ^ a b Alpert, Jessica. "Julia Easterlin: One Woman Chorus". radioboston. 
  4. ^ a b "Easterlin". 
  5. ^ TEDxWomen -- Julia Easterlin. YouTube. 10 December 2011. 
  6. ^ "About". 
  7. ^ ARTE. "Kris Bowers ft. Julia Easterlin au Stockholm Jazz Festival". ARTE Concert. 
  8. ^ "Tiny Concerts at Coffee Tables Near You". The New York Times. 21 October 2014. Retrieved 26 July 2016. 
  9. ^ a b Marotta, Michael (2012-09-18). "Following Julia Easterlin's beat - Music Features". Thephoenix.com. Retrieved 2015-11-29. 
  10. ^ "HITE - LIGHT OF A STRANGE DAY". Hite. Retrieved 10 July 2017. 
  11. ^ "Hite Is The New Project from Julia Easterlin". Six Degrees Records. Retrieved 10 July 2017.