Artist of the Week-Julius C

This Artist of the Week is going to a short-lived band that broke up before its potential was ever realized by the general pop public: Julius C

Originally, I had chosen this band for the mere reason that these guys rocked my socks off more than any other lesser-known band ever has. So when I began researching for this week’s post, I came to the grim discovery that the band decided to take an “extended hiatus” (according to its Facebook account) in September, and played its final show this past December. This week’s AotW is one that will pay tribute to the untimely passing of one of the greatest band no one had ever heard of (unless you are avid Enter The Shell readers!).

Julius C comprised of four guys from New York but it started with two. According to the band’s bio, they went through so many changes and sounds that only four years after they formed, the band was already in trouble.

But as is the case in many artists’ stories, heartbreak brought out the best of the band. With an EP under their belts, the two founding members decided to finalize the band and hole themselves up in a worn down house in New Jersey. What resulted was their pop-rock super-fun-time debut, Ok, Ok.

The album has a flurry of influences and genres ranging from pop to classic rock and from punk to funk. When I first heard this album, it was the catchiest thing I had heard in awhile. Lead singer Jay Stolar’s infectious choruses and hooks paired well with groovy dance beats to make for a fun, light-hearted album. Even the album’s more “somber” songs were undeniably catchy.

Though this reviewer wrote raves when the album appeared on the ETS blogosphere in the summer of 2010, Ok,Ok had not been officially released as the band was trying to self-release. They began a Kickstarter page and met their goal, releasing the album officially later in the year.

This young-at-heart group even took it a step further and shared its joy outside the CD player and iPod. In the summer of 2010, Julius C embarked on a 30-day tour sponsored by Silly Bandz (“You can use them to put your face back together after it gets rocked off, OK?”) that had some proceeds go to benefit programs helping homeless pregnant/parenting teenagers. Stolar even started Rock Star Camp which brought more art activities to summer camps. Julius C traveled to different summer camps and taught the kids songs and played shows at night, spreading their joy throughout the Northeast. Finally, the band even embarked on a mini tour of sorts again when it began recording a series of YouTube videos where they would play songs for unsuspecting bystanders (the elderly, a baby, etc.).

Julius C’s fun attitude came through in its album and in how the band interacted with its fans and in the end, that’s what making music is all about. Unfortunately, the band’s departure leaves a hole in my heart but here’s to hoping they find the success they are looking for in other ventures … Or back in Julius C.

Check out Julius C’s YouTube Page

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