Julianna Riolino


Julianna Riolino embarks on her debut solo record, an assured and confessional batch of songs that finds the Canadian songwriter skirting the edges of country and pop in a way that would certainly please fans of Margo Price, Waxahatchee, or the recently released Plains record. Though there’s something more classic in Riolino’s sound, a crossover of early ‘60s rock and country that leads with her room-filling croon. Hers is a more R&B and doo-wop conscious vision of the genre — like Wanda Jackson backed by The Exciters. Her voice can run from brassy to blushed, and she works the well between like a painter choosing shades. When she’s leaning towards the former, her songs swing out with a hook that turns every head in the room to see where that much power originates, again evoking the kind of instant charm that made a name for Jackson.

Songs that balance the dynamic find Riolino in fine barroom troubadour form (“Queen of Spades,” “Why Do I Miss You”) but she can dim the lights and let the lyrics curl like breath on cold air when the song asks for it. Julianna has spent much of the last couple of years working with Daniel Romano’s Outfit, and the band’s excellent Cobra Poems found her out front more than a few times. Here, Romano and few others from the Outfit fill out the backing band, finding her in familiar family, but standing out as force all her own. All Blue certainly appeals to fans of what the Outfit has been working at for the past few years at a fevered pace, but the record is baked into the mold of a country-pop classic that pushes just far enough towards the scuffed-knees sounds of EmmyLou and Lucinda that its going to miss the current audience set up for the genre. It’s an absolute gem to be sure, though, as time will certainly show.

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