Among the strongest singles from New York City duo Juletta + Ishan‘s new album If I Never Hit Land is the hauntingly nostalgic, “Wildheart.” Their take on a Stevie Nicks original transforms the song in a way that meets Stevie’s rock driven twang with ambient synths and pitch manipulated vocals. This sets the track apart from the pair’s other releases as well, where Juletta’s breezy vocals take center stage.
The effect is subdued and familiar, but somewhat unnerving. Kind of like if the near and dear songs of your childhood took hallucinogens and went wandering in the woods. The song’s backbone are Juletta’s lowered vocal lines that loop with key lyrics, seeping in a stormy, atmospheric quality. From there, Ishan layers in undulating synths, punchy percussion, and swirling vocal interjections that amp up the track’s misty, distorted feel.
This stark contrast to the original demo is no accident, and who could blame them for not wanting to stand too closely in the shadow of the Reigning Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll. In fact, the group asserts that some comfort and anonymity was found in this method of production, where woven electronics and modified vocals beat catharsis into each verse.
“Wildheart” is only one small piece of the pie, at the forefront of their album If I Never Hit Land. A collection of tracks comprised of stories from flesh and bone New York women, the album promises more singer-songwriter driven melodies married with dynamic production elements. For a duo that has only worked together for roughly two years, Juletta + Ishan have managed to create a cohesive sound that still leaves room for experimentation.
Find If I Never Hit Land where all things are streamed out today, and check out the stories that inspired the album here.