Tag Archives: ukulele

You Should Buy This Album: Julia Nunes

I steal things. I regret to tell you this, internet, because I love to be wrapped up in nothing but original creativity, but some of my little great ideas are recycled.

Some of my perceived coolness (if not most) comes from me loving and capitalizing on the greatness of Julia Nunes- Youtube-sensation, ukulele lady and wonderful-sounding musician.

Who is Julia Nunes? Only my musical soul-sister! Observe:

She’s one of the very big reasons that the ukulele became to so appealing to me. Well, that, and long-story-short, I had gotten myself into a little period of intense loneliness living alone my freshman year and buying the most adorable instrument saved me from going crazy in my room and allowed me to start writing my own songs, which in turn saved me thousands of dollars in therapy. Not kidding.

But, back to Julia. Her videos are popular, if you’re a youtube music junkie (which I admittedly am) and if you look hard enough, you might just find other videos on the internet of a certain lion-haired girl harmonizing over herself and recording in the same possible way. Coincidence? Hardly.

Julia Nunes writes honestly. Her lyrics are altogether fun and at the same time sincerely heartfelt, and never over-thought. They’re so relate-able that I swear the universe gave me her songs to help me not feel so alone, like, for example, these two:

Right? And those are originals. Don’t even get me started on her cover songs. Amazing.

I found her new album, Settle Down, at Waterloo in Austin a few months ago, screamed like I had won the lottery, purchased it earnestly, and it has scarce left my car since. I listen to it on repeat in my room and just want to nod along to every line. Seriously, it’s sometimes like I’m one of those crazy fangirls who hears her lyrics and agrees aloud in a New Jersey accent, like, “Oh, Julia, darrling I know. I totally understand. He was just not good for us, right? Sing it, sister.”

Her voice is a lower alto (just like mine!) so I don’t feel so alone singing in the lower part of songs. Also, she somehow manages to overcome the stereotype of cutesy-girl-ukulele music. If the solo-girl-with-one-instrument sound isn’t your thing, not to worry! Her arrangements have a full band on this album and it really shines. Her delivery has always been honest and I so look forward to seeing what she does in the future. I mean, she did break records when funding this album on Kickstarter.com, asking for $15,000 and ending up raising an incredible $77,888, and that dedication of her fans and supporters alone is super-impressive. Plus, she’s made her fame on the internet, and if you know me at all, you know that in some weird twisted way, I love the internet. I think the internet can be a wonderful place to be creative and encouraged and find a little community, whether through music, videos, blogging, social media, or even Lord Of The Rings messageboards. Not that I would know about that last one, though. (I actually would know.)

Could I obsess any more? It’s possible, but I’ll save that for some other time. Heck, one of my dearest friendships started because he and I shared a crazy love for Julia and her music! And music bringing people together is what the whole crazy thing is about anyway, right?

In all honesty, go buy Settle Down here or here or listen to it for free. Also, look for it and request it at your local music shop (Do people besides me do that? We should all start doing that!).  Or just start watching any of her great videos on Youtube and fall in love.

*And to any college freshman girls out there, if you are lonely and confused and emotional because college is just one big time for all those feelings, please forgo eating out for a week or consolidate your laundry money and buy a ukulele instead. My first and still-favorite uke was $50 with a coupon, you can get it here, and it’ll be so much better in the long run. I’ll even teach you if you want! When you learn two little chords in five minutes, because, yes, it is that easy, allow yourself to feel like a rockstar, and then keep on learning from there.

Play as often as you can, but know that once you start becoming known as “that girl with the ukulele”, you’ll probably be compared to Julia Nunes pretty frequently. Don’t worry, though, because in actuality, being compared to her puts you in great company, and it is a super-huge-wonderful compliment anyway.

Photo Credit: here

Time To Ramble On?

I have been searching on eBay and Craigslist for a Volkswagen Bus for years now.

You see, I have a dream of packing up my life into a Volkswagen bus or an airstream trailer and taking to the open road. I’d still call and write and send picture messages, but the freedom of the open road is so tempting. Plus, I love small towns, breakfast foods, people who can play the heck out of instruments and historical landmarks, and I have a feeling that there are so many of these things out there that I haven’t seen yet!

Miranda Lambert’s ‘Airstream Song’ always hits truth with me. “Sometimes I wish I lived in an airstream, homemade curtains, lived just like a gypsy- break a heart, roll outta town, cause gypsies never get tied down.” Maybe it’s the escape of traveling that I love so much; kicking up dust and never looking in the rear view mirror. Maybe it’s because the music closest to my heart and my style from decor to clothing always points to the fact that I always wanted to be a carefree child of the 60s and 70s, rolling down the highway with my little hippie caravan family along for the ride. Blame my gypsy soul. Blame it on my wild heart, even. Whatever it is, it remains at the back of my mind and gets stronger every time I take a road trip or when I watch the Discovery Channel or even when I hear an especially good Led Zeppelin song and want to start ramblin’ on.


For a time I always thought it would just be me on this trek, but more and more I think I’m gonna need someone in the passenger seat. I don’t often get crushes (we’ve been over this before) so it wouldn’t have to be romantic. Just someone to switch off driving shifts with, take pictures of scenic moments, sing along to classic rock (the official soundtrack of the open road!) and share waffles when I order too many of them. That’s not so much to ask, right?

I mean, sure, if it was all cute and crush-y, I’d be all sorts of lovey-dovey. Is it too hippie of me to want to spend my first years of marriage (if in fact I do get roped into gettin’ hitched) on the road? How perfect would that be? Just exploring the countryside and wearing out the radio with great music for miles and miles, and of course, make the goal of getting at least one kiss in every single state, because well, IT’S CUTE. And the pictures would be cute and true love travels miles and documents these miles and you know, while I’m daydreaming I might as well daydream sickeningly-cute goals, right?!! Thousands of miles, hundreds of diners, one bus, two of us and at least 48 kisses. Not too shabby.

Oh- what’s that? Is that you calling, real world? What’s that you’re asking? What will I do for money on the road? You mean no one wants to pay me to blog and stargaze and picnic and come up with puns and amateur-ly play my guitar and ukulele yet? Really?

Guess I’ll have to hold out a few years.

(Airstream Picture Link, Volkswagen Picture Link)