Smart alternative music hasn’t been all that hard to find out of the underground in the last year or two, but if you ask me, Julie Amici & Dean Mueller’s I Loved You So is one of the more unique gems to debut this April for sure. … I would place a hefty wager on their finding some serious success with this offering, which I rank as one of the best in indie Americana this spring.” – Loren Sperry, Music Existence – June 11, 2020

Album Review: Julie Amici & Dean Mueller “I Loved You So”

With a swaggering strut, a string melody comes into focus, suddenly enrapturing anything within earshot of its vibrant glow. This sensuous instrumental element is hypnotic to say the least, but once it comes into contact with Julie Amici’s lead vocal for the first time, it doesn’t stand a chance in the ensuing duel for our affections. This is “Frame it on the Wall,” one of the chicer songs on the new album I Loved You So from Julie Amici & Dean Mueller, and much like its mates in the tracklist of this inspired LP, it was seemingly designed for the purposes of bringing a bit of evocative surrealism back to the left side of the dial this April.

URL: https://julieamici.com/

Amici and Mueller have an amazing chemistry on I Loved You So, and whether Mueller is in the driver’s seat, such as we find in “Turn the Key,” or Amici is ruling the roost ala “Sardines and Saltines” or “Hot in the City,” they never sound as though they’re at war for our focus here. Instead, I think this pair plays off of each other’s cues rather brilliantly – especially in songs like the title track, “Read Through Tears” and “I Wanted You” – and ultimately makes the most of their shared love of Americana more often than not.

“Flannel Shirt,” “Blind Beulah” and “Daddy” are more harmony driven than “I Wanted You” or “Frame it on the Wall” are, but despite the stylistic differences between them, together these songs tell us everything we need to know about Julie Amici & Dean Mueller’s collective depth as an artistic unit. They’ve got a lot of different ways they can break down a melody, and in I Loved You So, they show us as many as we can handle inside of eleven unique tracks.

APPLE MUSIC: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/julie-amici/1162817421?ign-gact=3&ls=1

I would have preferred a little more vocal presence in the mix of “Turn the Key” and “Hot in the City” than these two songs were afforded, but at the same time, I can understand why this duo went with the production style they did here. There aren’t a lot of aesthetical equilibriums making headlines in 2020, but in the case of these tracks, I think Amici & Mueller were making a concerted effort to show us that crossover melodies don’t have to rely on colorful crooning alone to sound and feel deep and emotional. In this sense, they might be the best songs on the LP (from a critical perspective, at least).

DOWNLOAD THE LP: https://julieamici.com/ilovedyouso/

Smart alternative music hasn’t been all that hard to find out of the underground in the last year or two, but if you ask me, Julie Amici & Dean Mueller’s I Loved You So is one of the more unique gems to debut this April for sure. It’s still a little early to tell how far this pair is going to go with their sound, but if I were a gambler, I would place a hefty wager on their finding some serious success with this offering, which I rank as one of the best in indie Americana this spring.

Loren Sperry

Julie Amici & Dean Mueller deliver a hybrid effort inspired mostly by old fashioned Americana but completely beholden to influences that span the folk/rock lexicon, and for those who were hoping for a multidimensional indie offering this spring, it provides some of the most memorable new tracks you’re likely to come across…..you don’t have to be an expert critic to appreciate the talent they bring to this incredible new album” – Troy Johnston, Fame Magazine – June 9, 2020
MusicPop Culture

Julie Amici & Dean Mueller deliver impressive Americana Single

As jubilant as they are strikingly rhythmic, even without the assistance of the rollicking drumbeat in the background, the strings we find in the song “Turn the Key” are perhaps even more intriguing than the lyrics in this selection from Julie Amici & Dean Mueller’s I Loved You So LP are, but this isn’t a dig at the poetry the pair’s new album is featuring at all. In I Loved You So, Julie Amici & Dean Mueller deliver a hybrid effort inspired mostly by old fashioned Americana but completely beholden to influences that span the folk/rock lexicon, and for those who were hoping for a multidimensional indie offering this spring, it provides some of the most memorable new tracks you’re likely to come across.

URL: https://julieamici.com/

There’s a lot more comprising this album than mere string-powered thrills n’ chills alone; in songs like the soulful “I Wanted You,” bluesy “Hot in the City” and “Sardines and Saltines,” the grooves contribute as much to the lyrical narrative as any of the melodic elements in the music do, and though the verses Amici unfurls from behind the mic are always the linchpin holding the compositions here together, there’s rarely a moment where her words steal any of our attention away from the instrumental prowess that this record is built upon. Harmonies tend to be the structural centerpiece in I Loved You So, which only further tethers this duo’s sound to Americana’s storied past than it does anything in the contemporary alternative folk underground.

“Blind Beulah,” the title track,” “Faces in Things” and “Read Through Tears,” are more conventional in their stylization than the other songs on this album are, but all in all, I think that the pairing of the two sets of material primarily occupying I Loved You So’s tracklist serves to exhibit the duality of Julie Amici & Dean Mueller’s shared artistry rather marvelously. There are a lot of acts that would kill to have the sort of aesthetical flexibility that these two are so adeptly managing in this record, and especially in songs like “Flannel Shirt” and “Daddy,” but very few that have been able to balance their experimental elements with a cut and dry approach as well as this unit is at the moment.

APPLE MUSIC: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/julie-amici/1162817421?ign-gact=3&ls=1

Separately, I think that Julie Amici & Dean Mueller are very talented beings each capable of making a really big impact on the American underground right now, but together, they’re producing a sound in I Loved You So that is worthy of stardom. There are a lot of loose ends in this record that were, as I hear them, deliberately left as to hint at the magic this duo could turn out if given just a little more room to spread their wings in the studio, and with any luck, we’ll see a follow up to this initial offering a lot sooner than we will later. Amici and Mueller are quite the collaborators indeed, and you don’t have to be an expert critic to appreciate the talent they bring to this incredible new album.

Troy Johnston

“So far, this year has produced a lot of really intriguing, if not outsider-influenced, breakthroughs from artists in the underground, and for some of the best treasures I’ve heard thus far, look no further than this smashing LP.” – Jodi Marxbury, Daily Pop News –

Julie Amici & Dean Mueller’s (SINGLE) “I Loved You So”

In “Blind Beulah,” the gentle strum of an acoustic guitar finds the perfect punctuation mark to its melodic statements in the form of a mild country twang. This same twang is presented to us in a contrary state later on in “Frame it on the Wall,” this time shaped for the purposes of a folky rhythm and blue hued-vocals even more emotive than the lyrics they convey are.

URL: https://julieamici.com/

An exuberant bounce frames a gritty vocal from Dean Mueller in “Turn the Key” where regal soul grooves find a place for Julie Amici to serenade us with her bittersweet voice in “I Wanted You.” “Faces in Things” swings with a bright country tempo, and although it couldn’t be anymore contrasting – at least in terms of cosmetics – with the stinging “Sardines and Saltines,” the two sit together on the tracklist of Julie Amici & Dean Mueller’s I Loved You So rather perfectly. The Portland-formed duo of Amici & Mueller deliver some of the best sounds in eclectic indie folk and Americana this April in I Loved You So, and you needn’t give songs like “Read Through Tears” “Flannel Shirt” or “Hot in the City” much more than a casual listen to appreciate the skillsets they each bring to the show.

APPLE MUSIC: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/julie-amici/1162817421?ign-gact=3&ls=1

“Daddy” and the title track sport some very folk-inspired tonality, but I think that what makes up their compositional foundation is a lot more difficult to classify using standard genre terminology than the origins of the songs’ individual components are. There’s a sense of diversity that follows every aesthetical marriage in I Loved You So; from “Faces in Things” to “Hot in the City,” there’s rarely an instance where Julie Amici & Dean Mueller are playing to the parameters of a traditional model, but in every track on the record, they make a point to utilize every element in the music as a means of getting an underlying narrative across to us (which, in my opinion, is steeped entirely in Americana).

SOUNDCLOUD: https://soundcloud.com/julieamici_deanmueller

When I sat down with the LP for the first time, I couldn’t help but wonder how “Turn the Key” and “Frame it on the Wall” would play out in a live setting, mostly because of how versatile a framework each of these two tracks sports. Amici & Mueller could present them to us as they did here, or, inspired by the energy of the crowd, easily adapt them into extended jams bred from the same creative stock as the other songs on this album were – only slightly more experimental.

I wasn’t familiar with the professional partnership of Julie Amici & Dean Mueller before getting ahold of a pre-release copy of their forthcoming record, but after getting hooked on the contents of I Loved You So, I am definitely planning on keeping an eye on their output through the 2020s. So far, this year has produced a lot of really intriguing, if not outsider-influenced, breakthroughs from artists in the underground, and for some of the best treasures I’ve heard thus far, look no further than this smashing LP.

Jodi Marxbury

 

“Julie Amici & Dean Mueller are the new kids on the block to most of us, but compared to their major label counterparts, they’re sounding a lot more disciplined and focused as composers in this hot new album.” – ALBUM OF THE YEAR NOMINATION and PICK UP THE WEEK – Mark Druery, Indie Shark Music Magazine – May 18, 2020

“This is alternative Americana for a discriminating generation of enthusiasts who demand nothing short of excellence out of their latest acquisitions from the local record store, and as I see it, it’s required listening for anyone with a penchant for sweet indie beats this April.” Clay Burton – Independent Music and Arts, Inc – May 13, 2020

Julie Amici & Dean Mueller’s I Loved You

An acoustic guitar can do a heck of a lot when it’s given the right composition to shine in, and in Julie Amici & Dean Mueller’s “Daddy,” it lights up the song like no other instrument could have. In this track, its strings ignite a passion between these two players that is revisited in the slightly-electrified, but nonetheless surreal, “Read Through Tears,” and no matter where we listen in the pair’s new album I Loved You So, the singular force of emotionality they create beneath the layers of instrumental melodicism is something to be marveled at. Some songs on I Loved You So, like the easygoing “Turn the Key,” employ Mueller’s smoky voice over the soft decadence of Amici’s, but in others, like “Hot in the City,” the smoldering nature of the strings pulls all of our attention away from the lyrical swing of the singer. This is alternative Americana for a discriminating generation of enthusiasts who demand nothing short of excellence out of their latest acquisitions from the local record store, and as I see it, it’s required listening for anyone with a penchant for sweet indie beats this April.

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/julieamici/

“Sardines and Saltines” stole my heart right out of the gate here, and while it’s structurally contrasting with the flamboyant title track in I Loved You So, I think each of these tracks points out the elements of artistic consistency that Julie Amici & Dean Mueller have in common. “Frame it on the Wall,” on the other hand, is purely an exhibition of Amici’s vocal abilities, and after a bit of internal wrestling,

I came to the conclusion that this song features the best singing on the album. It isn’t easy to pick favorites in an LP like I Loved You So, especially with tracks like “Frame it on the Wall” and the old school swinger “Faces in Things” sounding so incredibly different from one another, and although I wouldn’t describe this record as being progressive in nature, there’s definitely a unique narrative that audiences can take away from its tracklist when experienced in its entirety (as opposed to breaking it up song by song on shuffle).

Julie Amici & Dean Mueller aren’t necessarily changing the game with tracks like “Blind Beulah,” the cerebral “I Wanted You” or comfortingly folky “Flannel Shirt,” but if you’re in the mood for a batch of Americana-themed songs that challenge both the mainstream model and that of their growing competition in the underground, I Loved You So is an album you need to be listening to this spring. There are a couple of rough edges that come between the beginning and end of this LP, but in the grander scheme of things, I think that what Amici & Mueller are offering in this first collaborate effort is more than worthy of some praise from both critics and fans in 2020.

They’ve got a lot of potential to make something incredible out of this sound, and from the looks of their new album, this is just a taste of what’s still to come.

Clay Burton

“Spring is now in full-swing, and from where I sit, I do believe you’d be hard-pressed to find another alternative-style Americana album quite as enthralling as Julie Amici & Dean Mueller’s I Loved You So is before the start of the summer season. This pair of eclectic folk musicians are definitely pushing the boundaries as much as they can in this record, and if they can find a way to continue their sonic experimentations without alienating fans of a more streamlined sound, I think they’ll have a good chance at breaking through to the mainstream early on in their career as a duo.”GT, Hollywood Digest – May 2020

Americana has been making quite a big comeback in the last couple of years, and if you’re curious as to why, you need to take a peek at what the underground has been submitting lately – and particularly what indie folk duo Julie Amici & Dean Mueller are releasing this coming April in I Loved You So. Much like their fellow Portlander Melissa Ruth, Amici & Mueller are driving home an Americana revival on the strength of fusion rhythms, jazz-inspired licks, bluesy vocals and a rock-style lyrical bite, and to say that their new album I Loved You So is a perfect amalgamation of the aforementioned influences would be putting it very mildly.The title track, “Faces in Things,” “Turn the Key” and “Flannel Shirt” provide us a great melding of country and folk themes inside of songs that follow a pretty experimental blueprint, each in their own unique way, but none of these compositions sounds even remotely scattered or aesthetically overreaching in the least. If anything, there’s a wonderful blend of stylizations on this disc that I would have hoped to hear out of Julie Amici & Dean Mueller’s mainstream rivals this spring, but unfortunately have yet to experience outside of I Loved You So.As instrumentally evocative as “I Wanted You,” “Frame it on the Wall,” “Hot in the City” and “Read Through Tears” are, the vocals these songs feature are always the most vibrant focal point for us to tune-in to. Amici & Mueller trade off on lead duties with Amici capturing more of the spotlight than her male counterpart does, but had they not shared the stage as democratically as they did in I Loved You So, I’m not sure that it would be nearly as evocative – nor as relentlessly captivating – as it is in the form we find it in here.FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/julieamici/

There’s an awesome fluidity to this tracklist that makes the music feel almost operatic in a couple of key spots, but I wouldn’t go as far as to say that I Loved You So is a progressive folk effort. “Blind Beulah” segues into “Turn the Key” and later “Faces in Things” as though the three songs were always meant to be joined in some kind of divine American medley, but whether we’re listening to them in the order Amici & Mueller intended or simply cherry-picking through the tracks one at a time, I think the emotional impact of their narrative here tends to remain the same.

Spring is now in full-swing, and from where I sit, I do believe you’d be hard-pressed to find another alternative-style Americana album quite as enthralling as Julie Amici & Dean Mueller’s I Loved You So is before the start of the summer season. This pair of eclectic folk musicians are definitely pushing the boundaries as much as they can in this record, and if they can find a way to continue their sonic experimentations without alienating fans of a more streamlined sound, I think they’ll have a good chance at breaking through to the mainstream early on in their career as a duo.

Garth Thomas

Here is a quote from a review in Vents Magazine

“Fans of the emerging new wave of Americana can’t go wrong with Julie Amici & Dean Mueller’s I Loved You So this spring, and unless their competitors in the underground can muster up something solid between now and December 31st, I think this LP will remain the top contender for best eclectic/folk record of the 2020s so far.” – Vents Magazine – April 29, 2020

Check out the full review here:

CD REVIEW: I Loved You So by Julie Amici & Dean Mueller

 

When two singer/songwriters as skilled as Julie Amici & Dean Mueller get together, you know that some sparks are going to fly, and that’s exactly what happens shortly after pressing play on their new joint album I Loved You SoI Loved You So has all the hallmarks of a brooding, immensely reflective folk-rock effort, but in songs like its title track, Amici & Mueller make it very clear to us that they have no interest in following the rules and conventions commonly associated with contemporary alternative folk music.

URL: https://julieamici.com/ilovedyousopre-order/

There’s a reflective tone to this number offered up amidst lighthearted swing, and though that same tone is recycled in the slow-rolling “Sardines and Saltines,” it doesn’t sound as though it’s been simply repurposed with a new melody and a different groove. In this album, these two players cover as much ground as they can within eleven of the more eccentric songs you’re likely to hear before the spring season is over, yet their efforts sound anything but overambitious – on the contrary, their willingness to reflect honest emotionality through both texture and tonality is a breath of fresh air this year.

The guitar tones that Amici & Mueller offer in “Blind Beulah” and “Read Through Tears” definitely speak to the moodiness of the adjacent lyrical content, and in the case of tracks like “Daddy” and “Frame it on the Wall,” they advance the narrative more than the verses ever could have on their own. The master mix is, in general, a little more straightforward in style than I would have expected it to be given the highbrow caliber of these compositions, but I suppose that it would make sense to take a simplistic approach to the black and white framework of songs like “Hot in the City” and “Turn the Key.” In the future, I’d love for there to be just a touch more emphasis on the vocal elements in Julie Amici & Dean Mueller’s work, mostly because, in all honesty, I found their interplay in this album to be the main reason why the whole of the tracklist is as unforgettable as it is.

BANDCAMP: https://soundcloud.com/julieamici_deanmueller

Fans of the emerging new wave of Americana can’t go wrong with Julie Amici & Dean Mueller’s I Loved You So this spring, and unless their competitors in the underground can muster up something solid between now and December 31st, I think this LP will remain the top contender for best eclectic/folk record of the 2020s so far. Independent artists are taking all of the thunder away from the mainstream this year, and though this is far from a perfect album from start to finish, there’s a case to be made that it didn’t need to be to make a big statement about its composers. Amici & Mueller seem destined to make some really beautiful music together, and if they can ride the present momentum they’ve got into the studio for sophomore follow-up to I Loved You So, they’re going to see and hear plenty of applause from audiences around the world.

by Bethany Page

They are rolling in and we are going to share one review per day this week! Here is one that clearly accepts the diversity within I Loved You So.

“You don’t have to be the biggest Americana fan on earth to fall in love with the harmonies contained in the eleven songs on Julie Amici & Dean Mueller’s I Loved You So, but for those who can appreciate this genre for all of its classically endearing brilliance, it’s an album that belongs on your shelf this coming April without question” – Too Much Love

The full review is available here:

I Loved You So from Julie Amici & Dean Mueller

I LOVED YOU SO FROM JULIE AMICI & DEAN MUELLER

2020 has been a bit of a hit and miss year for a lot of indie’s premier folk artists, but in the stylish crossover LP I Loved You So from Julie Amici & Dean Mueller, fans of alternative Americana get the tall drink of water they’d been craving most this spring. Hybridity has been all the rage in American music lately, and in I Loved You So, these two indie singer/songwriters push the limits of fusion balladry and experimental grooves as much as they can whilst staying true to a classic melodic concept, and for their efforts, it’s the audience that winds up rewarded with harmonies as sweet as freshly-picked apples.

URL: https://julieamici.com/

“Blind Beulah,” “Daddy,” the title track and “Faces in Things” conflict with the aesthetical comprisal of “Hot in the City,” “Frame it on the Wall” and “Read Through Tears” quite profoundly, but I love the artistic contrasts they display just the same. Julie Amici & Dean Mueller aren’t household names to the bulk of American audiences, but in this record, they aren’t letting their lack of recognition prevent them from getting as compositionally wild as their skillsets can allow for (which is a lot more than I can say for the many major label artists I’ve reviewed recently).

The vocals are incredibly commanding throughout I Loved You So, but in “Sardines and Saltines,” “Turn the Key” and “Read Through Tears” especially, they’re telling us more through the harmonies they contribute to than they do via the lyrics they sing. Tonality, as well as authentic melodicism, are clearly of upmost importance to Julie Amici & Dean Mueller, and in a time where Americana is sounding more eclectic than ever, it’s nice to come across a duo that has some serious interest in maintaining (and, inevitably, building upon) the genre’s pillars.

It would be really interesting to hear stripped-down versions of “I Wanted You,” “Frame it on the Wall” and “Hot in the City” sometime, as I think all three of these songs don’t need much more than their eroticized serenades to feel and sound as affective as they do here. I Loved You So doesn’t leave much room for sonic indulgence, but in the few instances where it does include a bit of compositional excess, I found it pretty interesting that, even with additional bells and whistles, the key components of their sound remain the strongest features present to us. Simply put, it’s got the polish to impress pop fiends, but the anti-artificial disposition to win over critics as well.

SOUNDCLOUD: https://soundcloud.com/julieamici_deanmueller

You don’t have to be the biggest Americana fan on earth to fall in love with the harmonies contained in the eleven songs on Julie Amici & Dean Mueller’s I Loved You So, but for those who can appreciate this genre for all of its classically endearing brilliance, it’s an album that belongs on your shelf this coming April without question. Amici & Mueller don’t hold anything back from us in this record, and I’m truly hoping this won’t be the only occasion on which they share a studio together.

John McCall

Another nice review for I Loved You So…

“..this is a record that hurls plenty of surprises in the direction of listeners, but at the end of the day, for all that it lacks in predictability it more than makes up for originality and a charming melodic nucleus that isn’t as common in modern music as it used to be.” – NK, Mobyorkcity.com

Julie Amici & Dean Mueller release intimate LP

Though Americana isn’t known for boasting the beastliest beats around, that didn’t stop Julie Amici & Dean Mueller from riddling their new album I Loved You So with some of the sexiest grooves on either side of the Mississippi this April. In tracks like the enigmatic “Hot in the City,” lush “Frame it on the Wall” and searing “I Wanted You,” rhythm is as big a role player as any other component in the music is – from the guitars to the vocals and back to the subtle basslines that emit understated textures in the background. For Julie Amici & Dean Mueller, leaving unutilized space in the master mix just wasn’t an option when constructing I Loved You So; here, efficiency, much like evocative musicianship, is of paramount importance at all times.URL: https://julieamici.com/

The strings tell us a story all their own in “Read Through Tears,” “Sardines and Saltines,” “Flannel Shirt” and “Turn the Key,” and had they not been beefed up by the equalization, I’m not sure that they would have been as expressive an element as they undeniably are on this occasion. Where words can’t equate the broader emotions that Julie Amici & Dean Mueller are trying to impart to the audience in these songs, the guitar fills in the edges with an emotionality that even the most stirring of poetry could never get across to us, no matter how talented the singer translating it into melodic treasure may or may not be. This duo’s contemporaries could stand to learn something from their attention to detail, and more importantly, their adherence to simplicity over unnecessary complexities.

To me, I think that “Daddy,” “Hot in the City” and “I Wanted You” were crafted for the stage more than they were a studio setting, and although I enjoyed each of these songs in the form they’re presented to us in I Loved You So, my gut tells me that they would sound a lot more potent before a live audience. There’s so much heat in the harmonies of “Hot in the City” and “I Wanted You” in particular, and while the mix compensates for the limited space they’re afforded here fairly well, these tracks have unquestionably inspired me to try and see Julie Amici & Dean Mueller the next time they’re in a city near me (mostly to see how well their studio presence translates in person).

RELATED ARTICLE: https://www.oregonmusicnews.com/julie-amici-dean-mueller

Julie Amici & Dean Mueller are fresh faces in the hierarchy of the American underground, but in I Loved You So, they show off an undeniable potential that is bound to have even the harshest of critics raising an eyebrow this spring. From the rustling grooves of its title track to the somber strings that adorn its closing number in “Read Through Tears,” this is a record that hurls plenty of surprises in the direction of listeners, but at the end of the day, for all that it lacks in predictability it more than makes up for originality and a charming melodic nucleus that isn’t as common in modern music as it used to be.

Nicole Killian

The reviews are rolling in.

“Both lyrically and instrumentally, Julie Amici & Dean Mueller turn in an Americana offering for the ages in I Loved You So, and while it’s not the only alternative LP you should be listening to this April, it’s an emotional effort that fans of this genre should be regarding as a top notch release at any rate.” – MM, IndiePulseMusic

CD/download pre release sale still available HERE!

Julie Amici & Dean Mueller’s new album “I Loved You So”

Julie Amici & Dean Mueller’s new album “I Loved You So”

Growling like a wild animal just awakening from a long hibernation and now itching to take a bite out of life once more, the sizzling electric guitar that we hear in the opening bars of “Flannel Shirt” immediately clues us in as to the chill-inducing melodicism about to come pouring out of the speakers here, in Julie Amici & Dean Mueller’s new album I Loved You So, but it isn’t until we’re deep in the clutches of “Daddy” that the multilayered nature of the music this pair is producing takes its full shape. On the back of the swinging groove in this song, we move forward into the blues-style crunch of the spellbinding “Hot in the City,” and before we know it, Julie Amici & Dean Mueller are controlling every move our hips make.

URL: https://julieamici.com/

The title cut in I Loved You So changes gears from the urban swagger of “Hot in the City” over to an old-timey folk rhythm and harmonizing vocals between Amici & Mueller that warm listeners up like a crackling fire in the dead of winter, and following its quiet melodic march, even more acoustic-bound grooves come flowing from our stereo in the form of “Blind Beulah,” one of my favorite songs on the LP. This number isn’t quite as textured a tune as the Dean Mueller-focused “Turn the Key” is, but while they make for odd neighbors in this tracklist on the surface, they have a lot more in common compositionally than it would seem upon closer inspection.

“Faces in Things” keeps the folky energy of the last three songs going at full-steam before turning us over to another haunting crossover track in “I Wanted You,” which along with “Hot in the City” sports a bassline binding together its rhythm and rhymes so tightly that any music enthusiast will be weak at the knees even in a cursory examination of its sway. There’s a similarly dark undertow to “Frame it on the Wall,” though in this song, the bassline definitely steps out of the master mix to make room for a blushing lead vocal from Amici that could melt ice at the right volume. This track isn’t as swanky a tune as “Sardines and Saltines” is, but overall, I wouldn’t have changed its placement in the arrangement of songs for anything – the flow of material here is just too good to make any alterations.

SOUNDCLOUD: https://soundcloud.com/julieamici_deanmueller

I Loved You So comes to a conclusion with the stone cold ballad “Read Through Tears,” a composition provoked by tragedy but clearly conceived with the intentions of inspiring a bit of hope amidst the trying times we happen to call the present, and in the moments that follow its final note, it’s hard to shake the narrative of this closing song from our minds. Both lyrically and instrumentally, Julie Amici & Dean Mueller turn in an Americana offering for the ages in I Loved You So, and while it’s not the only alternative LP you should be listening to this April, it’s an emotional effort that fans of this genre should be regarding as a top notch release at any rate.

Mindy McCall