Today indie-pop singer/songwriter Julia Wolf drops the music video for her latest single, “Rookie of the Year,” in addition to her debut LP, Good Thing We Stayed. That name may sound familiar, if you were one of the few lucky enough to catch FLETCHER’s super sold-out, super intimate, and super stripped-down show at The Foundry last year, for which Wolf did support. Next month Julia Wolf will be embarking on the Gothic Babe Tendencies Tour (named for her recent single featuring blackbear), which will have the NY-based artist returning to The Foundry at The Fillmore for a headlining show on February 18th. This Monday I got a chance to chat with Julia via Zoom about her growth as an artist, some of her favorite music, and just why she’s so into the gothy/spooky/gory shit!
Izzy Cihak: Your debut LP, Good Thing We Stayed, drops later this week. What can fans expect of the album? How do you feel like it compares to your first EP, Girls In Purgatory?
Julia Wolf: Sonically, I definitely tried to vary things up more. I feel like we’ve established the Wolf sound pretty well now, and this was a chance to explore different versions of myself: who I am, and how I want to show that. Lyrically, I feel like a lot of the discography up to this point is storytelling of my reaction to things that have happened to me, and how I handle stuff, whereas this album goes more into just me as a person: Who am I? Why am I so anxious? What does it feel like to be shy and go after crazy dreams? It’s more of just the journey.
Izzy: And I know to coincide with the release you’re going to be dropping a music video for “Rookie of the Year.” What can fans expect of the music video?
Julia: Music videos have always been pretty rough for me. Watching yourself on camera’s not something I vibe with that much. So, “Rookie of the Year” is actually a collection of DIY home videos, a lot of me at open mics (I used to do like five a week.), and then it kind of switches to current day, when we sold-out our shows and got our billboard, and all that back-and-forth.
Izzy: Your last single, “Gothic Babe Tendencies” features blackbear. How did the two of you get hooked up, and how was it working with him?
Julia: Oh my gosh, probably one of the craziest moments of my life! It was simply an Instagram post of mine. I posted a snippet of the song that already existed, and he commented on it – I’m sure maybe someone showed him the music on a playlist or whatever – like, “Hey, can I write a verse,” and I’m like, “You’re asking me if you can write a verse?!?!” So, immediately we started talking, and he’s so kind, and he wrote his verse on the airplane! Like, he was so excited about it, and he’s Voice Noting me from the plane! It was really sweet, and he’s just been very supportive.
Izzy: Considering that your music career is still relatively new, what have been some of the highlights so far, whether reactions you’ve received, or just experiences it’s afforded you?
Julia: Honestly, the best parts in all of this are the shows and getting to see people face-to-face. And when someone comes up to me and they have a tattoo of the lyrics… I will never get over that! It’s so validating. I just want them to feel seen and related to, and it’s those kinds of moments that remind me it’s happening. So, those are my favorite. Then, of course, crazy, crazy things, like billboards in Times Square! Like, I spent half my life wandering through Times Square, wondering, “How does anyone ever, ever do that?” And then, here we are!
Izzy: Is there anything that you think is especially important for fans, or potential fans, to know about you? I know that you’ve talked about the whole DIY thing in the past and that being very significant.
Julia: I’ve always been more on the self-sufficient route, just because talking to people and asking for help is scary and I was always too afraid. So, I did a lot of it by myself. But I think it’s just important to know that everything is written through this lens of being an anxious person and still trying to just get after what we want. Because it’s hard, and it took so many years of dead ends and trial and error that people just don’t see, so I’m hoping the album kind of puts it all out there and encourages people to just keep moving.
Izzy: I know that relatively recently you rebranded yourself from WOLF to Julia Wolf. What prompted that change?
Julia: It was a tough choice. Because there was a time when you looked up Drake and you would only find Drake Bell. You wouldn’t find our Drake! And it was like just this choice of being purely easier to find. Wolf was always gonna be a part of it, but just too many people telling me it’s difficult, so it was like, “Alright, let’s just put the Julia…” And, it makes me more human-esque [laughing], ya know?
Izzy: Instead of asking artists about their influences, I prefer to ask them about some of their favorite albums. So, what are some of your favorite albums?
Julia: My top favorite albums… 100% Punisher by Phoebe Bridgers: unreal, unmatched… Proper Dose by The Story So Far: lyrical genius… And, probably, The Melodic Blue by Baby Keem; that’s a big one for me… And then we have to put a Jack Harlow, so maybe Thats What They All Say.
Izzy: I know that you’ve been working with Fable, a digital book club app… I think I fathom what that is, but it’s still kind of a new, weird thing… How did that come about, and how has that been going? It seems super cool.
Julia: It’s so fun. I just wanted another outlet to communicate with people that wasn’t solely Instagram, and I do love my horror novels, and anything spooky I’m always down for. It just seemed like the best way to go about it. My sister is really big on TikTok for books, so she’s like all into this, and she suggested making the book club!
Izzy: You’re embarking on the Gothic Babe Tendencies Tour next month. Are there any shows you’re especially excited to play, or cities you’re just especially excited to visit or revisit?
Julia: I am so excited, I keep saying this. I am a diehard Twilight girl through and through, so going to Seattle, or Washington state, I’ve just always wanted to go there. That’s a big one for me, and I can’t wait to go back to Nashville!
Izzy: What can be expected of the live experience when you return to The Foundry to headline, after playing there last year supporting FLETCHER?
Julia: I’m really trying to make it a memorable experience, and just kind of have each night be a little bit different from the night before. Basically, like every Sunday, I do Sunday confession on Instagram, and people type in things they want advice about and I try to give my two cents, so I’m hoping during tour I can like stop mid-set — and when people walk in they’ll put confessions in a box — and we can kind of do a couple onstage. Also switching up the setlist, and just giving all the gory vibes whichever way I can!
Izzy: You’re going to be touring alongside Bronze Avery, who I also really like. How did that all come about?
Julia: Oh my gosh, I’m so excited! He’s so talented, and he’s just been supporting me since almost Day 1. Like, it’s been such a long time now. I’ve just noticed the DMs, and the comments, and he’s just always been there. And then, one day he did an open-verse challenge, and it just opened my eyes, like “Oh! I didn’t even know that you were this way! Like, you are so, so talented!” And, when I saw it, the timing of it all just worked out, where we were looking for openers and we just reached out!
Izzy: Not to detract from your music, but you also have really great fashion. What does that draw inspiration from, if that’s even the kind of thing you think about? Do you have any particularly significant “style icons?”
Julia: Oh my gosh! The queen herself to me is always gonna be Bella… Bella Hadid. Just because she’s always on top of things! Like, always starting new trends, very innovative, and just very mix-matchy. I think that’s just so hard to do. Like, you really need to have an eye (I know she’s got people, but still…) Honestly, growing up I started my gothy look pretty young — middle school vibes – and the inspo was always Tim Burton, all those movies. I was living for it! Anything vampire related… It just took over because when my words failed me, I was like, “Let’s just make the outside at least hardcore and say things that I can’t say yet, because I’m just afraid… So, lemme just do it with the clothing.” And, still to this day, you don’t wanna see me in a group setting: I freak out! But at least we have the look that speaks for us a little.
Izzy: Finally, what’s next for you, after these dates wrap? Is it just going to be more touring, and spreading your latest sounds?
Julia: I hope so. Touring is really the most fun for me. But also I would love to collaborate more with other people, which is just something I haven’t done too much. With this latest one that I did, I’m so excited to explore that avenue a bit. And just trying to grow and make sure everyone understands that we’re in this together. It’s a very two-way street.
Izzy: While we’re talking about it, is there anyone you dream of collaborating with one day, whether entirely realistic or not?
Julia: Oh my gosh! I say it in every interview – I need to stop, honestly, because if he sees this one day, I’m gonna look like a freak – but Jack Harlow! He has my heart and soul. I listen to a lot of rap, and I’ve been listening to him for so many years now that it would just be such a dream!
*Get your tickets here.